Progressive Components, a mold parts maker based in Wauconda, Ill., showcased three new products at Plastics USA 98, Oct. 6-8 in Chicago.
The firm also announced it will open an expanded facility by the end of the year that will give the company access to 15,000 square feet of space — almost double the building's original size.
The first new product, a hot-sprue bushing that has a standardized connector, is designed to eliminate safety problems and down time resulting from electrical blowouts caused by loose wires.
The year-long design process began when Progressive employees saw such potentially hazardous and time-consuming conditions at their clients' plants.
The new bushing fits into Progressive's ElectriConnect junction-box system, which color-codes junction-box and mold hook-ups to simplify the connection process.
``You don't have to be an electrician to operate this,'' Progressive President Glenn Starkey said in an interview at Plastics USA.
``In this ISO 9000 world we're living in, where you need work instructions for everything in the plant, a system like this really simplifies things.
``It's also a safety issue,'' Starkey added. ``If you had loose wires like this at home, you'd be blowing out connectors all the time.''
Progressive (Booth 949) also unveiled its FlexiCore undercut release system and CamAction assembly unit, both of which are designed to save space in mold design.
The FlexiCore system springs away from molded undercut detail while preventing twisting and providing wear-resistant support. The system is finding uses in consumer electronics applications such as cellular telephones, where space is extremely limited.
The CamAction unit is one-fourth the size of typical side action assemblies and can be used in applications ranging from electronics to automotive.
``Mold makers are always battling for space,'' Starkey said. ``These new products allow them to get as much space as they can.''
Starkey said the site expansion is needed to handle increases in staff and inventory and to support the firm's regional service centers in Minnesota, Connecticut and California.
Progressive has grown steadily, moving to larger quarters twice since being founded in Wauconda nine years ago.