Extra space and capacity will help Ashton Plastic Products Inc. promote injection molded thermosets, predicts the firm's President Richard Kelch.
The Xenia, Ohio, firm moved into a new 20,000-square-foot plant in late January and now has the room to run all of its 18 presses. Ashton had been forced to keep five presses in storage at its former 12,000-square-foot Xenia facility because of overcrowding. Kelch estimated the cost of Ashton's new plant at about $1 million.
Kelch said his firm aims to prove injection molded thermoset resins are more cost-effective than thermoset parts made by compression and transfer molding. The firm already boasts 20 customers, including some offshore, for appliance, automotive, electrical and other parts.
He said Ashton also is using a new generation of glass-filled phenolics to try to replace polyetheretherketone thermoplastics in high-heat applications. Durez division of Occidental Chemical Corp. supplies the new phenolics.
Kelch bought the thermoset business, formerly called Jamestown Thermoset Molding, out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1994 and moved it from Jamestown, Ohio, to Xenia. It was a struggle to get the company back on its feet but Ashton logged $1.6 million in molding sales last year, up about a third from the previous year.
Ashton runs three presses for thermoplastics, primarily to support its thermoset customers, Kelch said. It also offers prototyping and assembly services.