Incoe Corp. has joined forces with Gas Injection Ltd., in a move that links gas-assisted injection molding and hot-runner systems, as well as companies on two continents.
Under a licensing deal announced Nov. 24, Incoe, a hot-runner maker in Troy, Mich., will manufacture, market and service equipment from Gas Injection of Nantwich, England, in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Incoe makes hot-runner systems and related products such as manifolds and injection nozzles. John Blundy, Incoe's vice president of business development, said some Incoe products already go to the gas-assisted molding market.
``We've sold a number of valve gate systems over the years for gas-assisted molding,'' Blundy said.
The licensing deal covers most Gas Injection products, including gas injectors and shutoff valves, and the company's technology. Initially, Incoe will not handle the British company's new injection molding machine that is designed specifically for gas-assisted molding, he said. Gas Injection introduced that press at Germany's K'98 show in late October.
Gas-assisted molding works by injecting gas into a mold, to hollow out the inside of a part, increasing strength and reducing the amount of resin needed. The technology also can apply pressure in specific areas of a mold to improve part quality.
Hot-runner molds reduce scrap by keeping plastic hot and liquid in the runner. In the next molding cycle, that plastic is pushed into the mold.
Blundy said gas-assisted technology ``has only scratched the surface'' of applications in the United States.
Incoe was a pioneer of sequential molding — where one section of a mold fills first, followed by other sections. Blundy said that could be one example of how the companies could blend their expertise — using both technologies to mold large parts with no weld lines and an excellent surface finish, such as car bumpers or television cabinets.
Blundy said Incoe looked at other gas-assist equipment vendors before picking Gas Injection.
Terry Pearson, chairman of Gas Injection, could not be reached.