Ocala, Fla.-based Clairson Industries Corp. has expanded its Georgia operation in custom blow molding and large-tonnage injection molding, spending more than $2.5 million on equipment.
Since opening the Norcross, Ga., site in early 1997, Clairson has acquired three Milacron blow molding machines with respective maximum shot capacities of 5, 15 or 25 pounds in each of the dual accumulator heads. Another blow molding machine begins operation in January.
``Our goal is to have eight [blow molding] machines in place in two years,'' John Wilson, vice president, said in a telephone interview.
Clairson started up 880-ton Battenfeld hydraulic-modulator injection molding presses in Norcross in August 1997 and September 1998, and installed a 1,500-ton Battenfeld HM press this month. Each is equipped with a Unilog 9000 controller.
Auxiliaries include Nucon materials-handling systems, Maguire blenders and AEC temperature-control systems.
``In 1996, we decided to expand based on a long-term contract with a cooler company,'' Wilson said.
Kooler Kraft Inc. of Roswell, Ga., ``was the driver to get into blow molding,'' he said. Soon, Clairson realized there were other customers in the area it could provide with large parts.
Clairson leased a 125,000-square-foot building and started production in Norcross in January 1997, initially with Battenfelds of 260 and 350 tons. The firm completed a 6,000-square-foot addition in October, relocating offices from Alpharetta, Ga.
``One large order is keeping us hopping right now,'' Wilson said.
At its 50,000-square-foot Florida site, Clairson has invested another $1.5 million for four new Battenfeld injection molding presses of 220, 330, 440 and 550 tons, bringing the total units to 19. Clairson focuses on medical-grade, consumer product and telecommunications molding in Ocala.
The Ocala site marked its 20th anniversary Nov. 9 and has operated independently since Closet Maid Inc. sold the operation in 1990. Privately held Norson's Inc. of Norcross is the holding company for Clairson. Clairson employs 65 in Norcross and 135 in Ocala.
Wilson expects 1998 to yield a 25 percent increase over Clairson's 1997 sales of $15.5 million. Blow molding accounted for $8 million of that total.