Plastics News assistant managing editor Jeannie Reall and correspondent Michael Lauzon reported the following items from Plast-Ex 98, held May 12-14 in Mississauga, Ontario.
Protoplast purchases press during Plast-Ex
Growing custom injection molder and mold maker Protoplast Inc. bought an $80,000 Sumitomo 100-ton press off the floor at Plast-Ex 98.
The firm has been operating at 100 percent capacity using its sole press, a 100-ton Sumitomo, according to President Andy Rolph. When the new press begins operating, Protoplast will add several employees to its staff of 25, he said.
About a month ago, Protoplast expanded into a newly available area at its leased headquarters in Cobourg, Ontario, increasing its space to 10,000 square feet from 7,500. By Dec. 1, Rolph said, the firm will occupy 17,500 square feet at that site.
The space will help the firm accommodate the new press, as well as a new Haas computer numerically controlled machining center Protoplast bought in September.
Protoplast has annual sales of $1.5 million to $2 million from aluminum mold-building and shortrun molding for the automotive, medical and electronics industries. Rolph said his company should have QS 9002 and ISO 9000 certification by September.
Barber-Colman sells Indev unit to Numina
Numina Systems Corp. has purchased the Indev Nuclear Thickness Gauging business of Barber-Colman Co.
Indev, which supplies web-measurement gauges, will operate as an independent business unit of Numina, a software development and industrial systems integration firm in Burr Ridge, Ill.
Barber-Colman, which makes controls and plantwide monitoring systems, is in Loves Park, Ill.
Pioneer Danson nets award of lifetime
Bennett J. Danson, former two-term Canadian defense minister and a plastics industry pioneer, received a rare honor May 13 at Plast-Ex: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.
The event marked only the third time the award has been bestowed in the history of CPIA and its predecessor, the Society of the Plastics Industry of Canada. CPIA is based in Mississauga.
``Barney is a truly remarkable product of the Canadian plastics industry,'' CPIA President Pierre Dubois said in presenting the award.
Danson is on the board of the Canadian Plastics Pioneers. He is a past chairman of SPI Canada, and was the group's first president.
Pacific Texturing Inc. joins Canada venture
Pacific Texturing Inc. of Riverside, Calif., has entered a joint venture to supply mold-texturing services to Canadian mold builders from a Toronto location.
Pacific Texturing President Geoffrey Maddocks said the venture, Pro Texturing Inc., officially opens June 1, but began taking on work early this month. Precision Engraving Co. Ltd. of Toronto is the other partner in the 50-50 venture.
Maddocks said mold builders in the Toronto area need another texturizing company.
Unlimited Textures, a division of Mold-Tech, has been the major texturizer in southern Ontario, but it is more than 200 miles away from Toronto mold shops. Maddocks said Unlimited Textures is competitive and a ``good company,'' but some Toronto mold builders have complained about costs to ship molds there.
Pro Texturing initially will be based in Precision Engraving's Toronto office. The venture also will offer texture repair services. Precision Engraving does engraving, prototyping and duplicating services and has electrical discharge machining and computer numerically controlled machining capabilities.
Pacific Texturing was established in 1989.
Engel redesigns press for shorter cycle time
Engel Canada Inc. unveiled a prototype model of its 500-ton press that has been redesigned to shorten its footprint by about 3 feet. A production model of the new ES 2050/500 should be available in three to six months, according to sales manager Larry Pascucci.
On the new version, two cylinders straddle the screw, allowing the clamping section and injection unit to be shortened. The carriage has been redesigned, and Engel changed the geometry of the toggle mechanism and reduced the size of the fast-advance toggle-clamp cylinder.
Dry-run tests showed the revisions shaved a quarter-second off cycle time, Pascucci said.
The Guelph, Ontario, company similarly redesigned its 600-ton model last year, he added.
Accu-Grind expanding at Ohio, N.C. plants
Accu-Grind Industrial Knife Co. is expanding its Kent, Ohio, head office plant and boosting machining capacity at its Etowah, N.C., plant.
Greg Shook, Accu-Grind vice president of sales, said his firm nearly doubled its space in Kent. The program will allow Accu-Grind to make pelletizer rotors as long as 1,600 millimeters using computer numerically controlled technology for sister firm Reduction Engineering Inc., also based in Kent.
Accu-Grind specializes in strand pelletizer rotors and also makes dicer rotors. The products fit retrofit needs of a range of original equipment manufacturers, according to Shook.
He said his firm is spending a few million dollars to expand machining at North Carolina and the program is nearly complete. It includes a new lathe, CNC milling center and six-axis grinding equipment.