Central Carolina still seeks nonauto work
BURLINGTON, N.C. — Central Carolina Products Inc. will continue seeking nonautomotive injection molding work after getting QS-9000 quality certification.
The Burlington custom molder wants to maintain a balance of auto and nonauto work, said Michael Kruse, sales manager. He estimated auto molding accounts for about half of sales, which he predicts will reach about $9 million this year.
Central Carolina is relatively new to auto molding, having entered the market in late 1994, about a year after the firm started production.
General Motors Corp. has been a major customer from the start and encouraged the company to become QS-9000 certified so that GM and other auto customers can rely on Central Carolina's quality systems.
Kruse said QS-9000 also carries weight among nonauto firms and many of its customers feel the certification is as good as ISO 9000.
Central Carolina's auto work is mainly small parts such as interior trim, handles and fasteners for GM and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. In its early days, the private, minority-owned company molded sock hangers and biological supplies for local companies.
It since has branched out into polypropylene tiles for in-line skating rinks, quick-connect parts for marine fuel systems and other markets.
Central Carolina runs seven presses, with clamping forces of 25-200 tons, and has a tool shop that makes about a third of its molds and all final engineering changes.
Victor Plastics grows as it gains business
VICTOR, IOWA — Custom injection molder and mold maker Victor Plastics Inc. continues to add production capacity at the firm's North Liberty, Iowa, plant and enlarge the company's involvement with gas-assisted injection and assembly operations.
The firm has new business and will add several new presses as more work comes in, Steve Sawyer, vice president of finance for the Victor-based firm, said in a telephone interview. Usually, the firm buys Mitsubishi or Toshiba machines.
The 120,000-square-foot North Liberty facility houses 33 presses with clamping forces of 100-720 tons. In Victor a main building and two warehouses occupy 125,000 square feet and include 29 presses ranging from 50-1,850 tons.
A 76,000-square-foot site in Kalona, Iowa, has 26 presses with clamping forces of 100-720 tons.
Appliance makers such as Amana, Maytag and Frigidaire account for half of the firm's sales.
The gas-assist portion of the business is growing rapidly for computer cases, business machines and some consumer products, Sawyer said. The company is getting involved in subassembly and assembly work, he added.
Victor Plastics employs 520 and had 1997 sales of $59.4 million, with injection molding accounting for about 90 percent.
United Shields buying another mystery firm
CINCINNATI — United Shields Corp. said April 6 it has agreed to acquire an undisclosed injection molding company in an undisclosed city in New Jersey.
In a prepared statement, T.J. Tully, chief operating officer, said the acquisition of the $50 million company is part of United's plan to become a fully integrated injection molding business.
The Cincinnati firm declined to reveal any other details, a spokesman said by telephone April 7.
On March 17, in a similar announcement, United said it signed a letter of intent to purchase an injection molding company in Massachusetts. That undisclosed firm operates a 60,000-square-foot facility and had 1997 sales of $5 million, according to United officials.
Toyoda constructing plastic, rubber plant
LEBANON, KY. — Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. is building a plastic and rubber part manufacturing plant in Lebanon.
The 374,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to open in May 1999, according to Robert Calder, executive vice president of Waterville TG Inc. in Waterville, Quebec, another Toyoda Gosei unit that makes automotive weatherstripping.
He said the new plant will make automotive parts including boots, dust covers and diaphragms, probably using injection molding, reaction injection molding and extrusion. It also may perform painting.
Calder said the new factory, which will start with 200 employees, will operate under the name TG Kentucky Corp. The plant will take on overflow parts business from Toyoda Gosei's operations in Perryville, Mo.
TG (U.S.A.) Corp., another subsidiary, runs three plants in Perryville that manufacture plastic exterior parts and polyurethane steering wheels for the auto industry. The facilities have reached capacity because TG (U.S.A.) has doubled its business during the past two or three years, said Calder, who serves as executive vice president of that company as well.
Plus, the company needs more room to paint plastic parts.
``They expanded very quickly in Perryville. ... It's been an explosion,'' he said.
Toyoda Gosei, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Co. Ltd., records about $500 million in sales to the North American auto industry, Calder said.