NASHVILLE, TENN. — Lamco Machine Tool Inc.'s new vice president of operations is pushing the low-key company into the limelight to let thermoformers know he wants their business.
Since April, when Richard Brashier first filled that post, he's been mapping a strategy to bring heavy-gauge thermoforming machine supplier Lamco into line with the likes of Maac Machinery Corp., Brown Machine, American Plastic Machinery and Modern Machinery.
Brashier, fresh from a seven-year stint as plant manager at Engineered Plastics Inc., a $2.3 million-in-sales thermoformer in Gibsonville, N.C., believes he has the engineering and marketing edge to make that happen.
With a devoted following of Southeast customers, Lamco of Morehead City, N.C., wants to add piecemeal to its territory and customer base, Brashier said at the SPE Thermoforming Division Conference and Exhibition, Sept. 19-22 in Nashville.
Until now, the 9-year-old firm has drawn in customers strictly by word of mouth. But SPE's trade show-style exhibition gave Brashier the opportunity to stage Lamco's coming out and its national marketing focus on new machines. The firm sells single-station and double-end shuttles and three-station rotary formers for industrial customers, he said.
Lamco is not after the highly customized end of the market — a fact that should let it offer machines at 15-20 percent less than some of its major competitors, according to Brashier. A three-station rotary base model with a mold maximum of 4 feet by 8 feet is about $125,000 with a delivery time of 10-12 weeks, he said.
The firm has upgraded its controls, offering the latest in PLC and touch-screen programming, he said. Brand-new features include remote communication via modem and an integral RS232 port, and programmable electric platens.
Retrofits, upgrades and components make up about half of the supplier's business, with new machines contributing the other half. But Brashier wants to change that ratio, upping sales of new machines to more than 90 percent.
With 30,000 square feet in Morehead City, Lamco has enough space to triple its business, he said. It employs eight.
``We hope to double our people within the next six to eight months,'' Brashier said, adding that the ``tremendous response'' from the Nashville show could put those plans in motion even sooner.