CHICAGO — Performance Alloys & Services Inc. is getting tough with a new sprue bushing that is specially designed to handle abrasive resins.
The new item can handle most glass- and mineral-filled resins, thanks in part to a carbide line in its sprue channel, President Cliff Moberg said in an interview at Plastics USA 98, held Oct. 6-8 in Chicago.
``Glass-filled applications are growing and our customers had been asking for more wear resistance,'' Moberg said.
Performance has more room to build new products these days. In May, the company moved from an 11,000-square-foot facility in Menomonee Falls, Wis., to a 23,000-square-foot facility in nearby Germantown.
The move enabled Performance to add two new computer numerically controlled turning machines, which will be installed by the end of the year. The firm employs 15 and posted sales of $3 million last year.
Like many mold-making industry firms, Performance has struggled somewhat in 1998 with no clear-cut explanation for the downturn.
Moberg said his company's sales are down 9 percent so far this year, but a dramatic increase in September sales gives him hope of matching 1997's sales total.
Moberg added it is difficult for his firm to project or analyze growth since its products usually are so specialized that its client list changes from year to year.
``We've had to make sure people know who we are and what services we provide,'' Moberg said. ``And one of the ways we've done that is by shortening lead times.''
Performance now can produce custom mold components in two weeks and can provide next-day service on raw material orders, he said.