Westmoreland plant prepares for growth
LATROBE, PA. — Westmoreland Plastics Co. is spending about $250,000 to expand its molding plant in Latrobe.
The private firm is putting a 5,000-square-foot addition on its plant to boost space 17 percent by the end of September. Next it will install two more thermoplastic injection presses with 50-ton clamps, a 400-ton thermoset injection press and five thermoset compression machines, said Thomas Casey, the firm's president and part owner.
Casey said sales are growing in Westmoreland's main markets of appliance and electrical parts. He predicts sales will exceed $4 million this year and exceed $5 million in 1999, the majority being on the thermosets side. The company now employs 49.
Westmoreland now has six thermoplastic presses with clamping forces to 450 tons, nine thermoset presses to 400 tons, and 35 compression machines to 150 tons.
Great Lakes targets tree nursery market
PLYMOUTH, MICH. — Great Lakes Plastics Inc. has expanded custom injection molding capacity by acquiring a new, 725-ton Milacron press.
The Plymouth-based firm will use the press to mold large products for tree nurseries, according to sales manager Derek Davey. The press has a shot size of 140 ounces and a bigger-than-normal maximum daylight opening of 85 inches, allowing larger molds. Great Lakes bought the press to take advantage of the new business opportunity.
Great Lakes' main markets are consumer goods, materials handling and electrical, Davey said in a telephone interview. It is a subsidiary of conglomerate Evans Industries Inc. of Detroit
Davey said his company has 13 thermoplastic injection presses with clamping forces of 110-1,000 tons, and 33 thermoset presses with 50-350 tons. It employs 75 and has annual sales of more than $6 million. Davey said it was founded in 1949.
Molder Pentec moves to bigger N.H. facility
NASHUA, N.H.—Custom injection molder Pentec LLC is relocating from Nashua to a bigger plant in Hudson, N.H., to accommodate growth.
Pentec plans to add three injection presses next year for a fire-safety product contract, said Chuck Wright, managing director of sales. It probably will spend about $500,000 for three presses with clamping forces of 150-200 tons.
Effective Sept. 1, Pentec will be at the Hudson location, which is about 10 miles from its existing facility. Pentec is leasing 26,000 square feet of space, compared with 17,000 now. Davey said the new plant will allow a cleaner molding environment because of better layout and more space.
The company now has 11 presses, with clamping forces of 40-310 tons. Its main markets are computer, electronics, sporting goods, hand tools and fire safety.
Batts buys Toshibas for Creative division
ZEELAND, MICH. — Batts Inc. is adding three Toshiba injection presses to boost its Creative Molding Solutions division's ability to supply automotive parts and consumer products, mainly to western Michigan customers.
Zeeland-based Batts formed the division in early 1997 in an expansion beyond the firm's core business as a market-dominant garment-hanger manufacturer.
The firm has taken delivery of a 600-ton Toshiba injection molding machine. Two 300-ton Toshiba presses should be in place by September, said Jay De Witt, vice president of Batts Creative Molding Solutions. The machines are equipped with robotic parts-handling delivery systems.
The company already had 97 presses with clamping forces of 50-610 tons and some extended platen capability.
Batts also designs and builds molds and has automated assembly equipment for post-molding processes.
The 95-year-old firm entered injection molding in 1963. In Zeeland, Batts employs about 500 and operates three plants, including one that Creative Molding Solutions shares with the hanger business. Batts plans to dedicate one of the facilities to custom molding, De Witt said.
The unit's custom work now accounts for about one-third of Batts' molding activity, he said.
HUD lauds Akron, OH for its job initiatives
AKRON, OHIO—Landmark Plastic Corp. played host Aug. 7 to a round table of Akron community members and leaders who discussed the city's jobs and training efforts in a post-industrial economy.
The Akron-based thermoformer and injection molder, which specializes in plastic bedding and flower pots, has been benefiting from a $3 million grant Akron received after being designated an enterprise community in 1994. Akron is one of 70 U.S. cities given grants to be used for jobs, training, business loans and bettering the community.
Landmark's work force includes graduates of the Sebert Project, a plastics training program funded by the grant.
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo, who attended the Akron round table, praised the city for being ``a national model'' and presented its mayor with a check for $1.48 million to encourage further development and growth.
Akron is in the running to become an enterprise community, a designation that includes a $100 million grant, or $10 million over 10 years.