Plastics News reporter Steve Toloken and correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these briefs from Medical Design & Manufacturing West '99 and the Pacific Design and Engineering shows held jointly in Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 26-28.
Plastikon building second Calif. facility
Plastikon Industries Inc. plans to begin building an 80,000-square-foot facility near its current plant in Hayward, Calif., in March.
The new plant will likely start with about six injection molding machines, a larger design and engineering facility and warehouse space, said Susan Ball, director of sales and marketing for Plastikon.
The custom molder currently has 29 molding machines from 50-1,200 tons, and Class 10,000 and 100,000 clean rooms for molding and a Class 100,000 clean room for packaging in its 35,000 square foot plant, she said. The company will keep both plants, she said.
Much of the growth is from industrial computer housings and other electronics business in the low-volume, high-end of the market, which contrasts with some of the high-volume electronic molding that the industry generally is seeing move overseas, said sales engineer Deborah Brown.
About 40 percent of Plastikon's $15 million in sales comes from the medical market, with the rest in automotive and electronics.
Gordon comes on line in Tijuana, Mexico
Custom injection molder Gordon Manufacturing Co. Inc. has added a Tijuana, Mexico, plant to better reach the southern California market.
The firm opened the 19,000-square-foot Gordon de Mexico maquiladora in October ``to supplement our molding facility in Petaluma'' in northern California, said sales manager Tom Duncan.
The Tijuana site employs 25 and operates six injection molding presses with clamping forces of 140-350 tons. There is ``space to grow inside the facility'' and perform value-added insert-molding, assembly and packaging tasks, Duncan said.
LMB takes first step in packaging market
Neil Reckon and John Caldwell formed LMB Packaging Solutions Group Inc. in Upland, Calif., Jan. 1 to supply electronic enclosures and related services.
LMB has licensed product lines from Teko SpA of Bologna, Italy, and drawn together a network of design firms, a mold maker and injection molders ``to help take packaging needs and time them to the customer's market demands,'' said Reckon, LMB's chief executive officer.
LMB sees an opportunity to either provide packaging quickly or organize longer-range concurrent engineering solutions with specific tooling and manufacturing tasks, Reckon said.
C. Brewer expanding in medical molding
The movement of business machine molding offshore is prompting custom molder C. Brewer Co. to expand its capability in medical molding.
The custom molder and mold maker plans to expand its Class 100,000 clean room from four injection presses to 13 in 1999.
The Anaheim, Calif., firm also plans to upgrade the rest of its 14 presses to a white room environment, which has fewer environmental controls than a clean room, said President Chuck Brewer III.
The clean room will have presses up to 160 tons, while the white room will have presses up to 350 tons, he said. Brewer declined to disclose sales figures.
Branson Ultrasonics buys machine maker
Plastics welder Branson Ultrasonics Corp. has purchased spin welding machine maker Powell McGee Associates in a bid to bring more welding services under its corporate wing.
Terms were not disclosed, but Branson bought the firm and shipped its equipment from its Shoreview, Minn., plant to a Branson plant in Honeoye Falls, N.Y.
Branson had represented Powell McGee, but Branson's nationwide sales force was overwhelming Powell's capabilities, said J. Andrew Besuyen, service manager for plastics joining technology in the Honeoye Falls plant.
The spin welding technology can join round plastic pieces that cannot be effectively welded by the ultrasonic welding equipment sold by Danbury, Conn.-based Branson, he said.
ATM adding space to California factory
American Technical Molding, Inc. is in the midst of adding 10,000 square feet to its factory in Upland, Calif., giving it room to eventually add 14 additional injection molding machines, company officials said.
The medical custom molder plans to add the machines slowly over four years, as the need arises, said Walter Gacek, manager of technical sales and marketing at Upland-based ATM. Much of the expected growth will come from device manufacturing, rather than commodity molding, he said.
The machines will have clamping forces from 30-150 tons. The firm has 26 machines at its plant, which will have 50,000 square feet after the expansion.
ATM has annual sales of between $10 million and $15 million.