The following briefs were gathered by Plastics News staff reporter Shannon Ledson at the National Design Engineering Show, held March 15-18 in Chicago.
Grimm adds router, pressure formers
The expansion is never-ending at Grimm Bros. Plastics Corp., which has purchased three computer numerically controlled rou-ters and two pressure forming machines for its Wapello, Iowa, plant in the past year.
The company is rebuilding most of the used equipment, but one of the pressure forming machines is a new unit, being built by the company, which will be installed by this summer, President Curt Grimm said in a March 15 interview.
Grimm Bros. exceeded its sales projections in 1998, topping $6 million, he said.
Mar Bal purchases compression presses
Reinforced thermoset materials molder Mar Bal Inc. has increased its manufacturing capabilities by buying three new compression presses in the last several months.
One of the presses, which have compression capabilities ranging from 300-600 tons, already has been installed. The other two will be delivered by June to its plants in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Dublin, Va., Scott Balogh, vice president of operations manager, said in a March 16 interview.
The Chagrin Falls-based company bought the machinery to makes oven door handles for major appliance makers, he said. The presses were purchased from GenCorp., whose Ionia, Mich., plant was closed several years ago. The machines have been rebuilt to Mar Bal's specifications, Balogh said.
Mar Bal reported 1998 sales of $21 million.
Webster relocates for more efficiency
Custom injection molder Webster Plastics Inc. has moved into a smaller plant, despite steady growth at the Fairport, N.Y., company.
The new plant is 24,000-square-feet smaller than the former 100,000-square-foot operation, said Ed McManus, customer development engineer. But the old building — which Webster had used since its founding in 1946 — had been expanded so many different ways that it was inconvenient, he said.
Though the new plant is smaller, the company seems to have more room to work because the floor plan is improved, simplifying operations and better utilizing space. It also was constructed on 12 acres of land to allow future expansion of up to 160,000-square-feet, he said.
The old building had housed 47 presses with clamping forces of 80-1,000 tons, he said. The company recently bought three new Van Dorn Demag presses: two 1,000-ton machines and one 750-ton unit, McManus said. The latest machinery will be used to manufacture plastic safes for Sentry Group.
Webster reported 1997 sales of $28 million.
Molder Empire buys business, presses
The folks at Empire Precision Plastics Inc. have been busy within the last year, acquiring a new business and adding new presses to its Rochester, N.Y., plant.
The injection molder of small, high-volume, precision parts bought Erdyl Manufacturing Co. Inc., a tool designer and manufacturer, Empire President Neil Elli said March 16.
Among the new machinery at Empire's 25,000-square-foot plant are a 125-ton vertical press, four Sumitomo presses and two Van Dorn Demags, Elli said.
The facility has about 50 employees. Empire said its sales topped $5 million in 1998.
Rotomolder Three 60 moves to Mich. site
Custom rotomolder Three 60 Corp. has moved its plant and expanded it by 9,000-square-feet.
The former Whitmore Lake, Mich., company moved its headquarters to a 20,000-square-foot facility in Howell, Mich., last month, President Bruce G. Barton Jr. said March 15.
Three 60 makes a wide variety of products, ranging from mailboxes to airplane fuel tanks out of polyethylene and polypropylene.
Barton founded Three 60 in 1983 in Southern California but decided to move the company to his home state of Michigan in 1990.
Barton plans to buy new machinery this year to utilize his extra manufacturing space.
Extrutech shapes up with heat former
Profile extruder Extrutech Plastics Inc. has ventured into vinyl window manufacturing, buying machinery to bend its profiles into various shapes.
The Manitowoc, Wis.-based company bought a $180,000 heat former last month to add to its extrusion plant, said George E. Meyers, a consultant with Plastic Consultants International Inc. The consultant was representing Extrutech at the Design Show.
The company also bought a new extruder to do complicated profiles up to 39 inches wide, he said.
LMI opens an Israel modeling facility
Laser Modeling Inc. of Schaumberg, Ill., has opened a 1,500-square-foot plant in Israel.
LMI specializes in stereolithography, a process in which a model can be made of a product prior to production, said President Michael Boruta.
The Israel plant was completed and operations began in February, more than four years after LMI began doing business there, he said.
LMI's Schaumberg plant occupies 3,000 square feet of space, but Boruta expects expansion in the near future.
Poly Roll expands its facility in N.H.
Cast polyurethane parts molder Poly Roll Inc. will nearly double the size of its facility by adding 9,000 square feet of space to its Loudon, N.H., plant.
Though President David Stewart is unsure of the cost, he plans to break ground on the expansion next month, he said in a March 15 interview.
The custom molding company currently has a 10,000-square-foot plant and business is booming, Stewart said.
Poly Roll's exhibit featured Armor Glide, a cast or foam polyurethane that can be bonded to ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene and nylon. Though there are no particular applications for the adhesive yet, Stewart expects it to be a popular product.
``We'll stick urethane to whatever we can,'' he said.
Poly Roll, a privately held company which spun off custom molder Poly Tech, also of Loudon, N.H., in 1994, reported 1998 sales of $1.5 million.