CHICAGO — Custom injection molder Rolco Inc. is pushing to switch from general custom work to a specialty in thermoplastic elastomers and dual injection molding.
The company has added four dual injection machines and hopes to have about half of its 20 machines doing dual injection in the next four years, said Denny Maas, president and chief executive officer of the Kasota, Minn., company.
The company sees TPEs replacing rubber for environmental reasons.
``I feel there is a very strong market for these materials as they are recyclable and rubber is not,'' Maas said at the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago. Replacement will come quickest in the automotive, electronics and medical markets, as TPEs are used in soft-touch devices like knobs and as seals on gaskets, he said.
About 40 percent of the firm's $7.5 million annual sales are in TPEs or dual-shot molding, he said. Its dual-shot machines range up to 300 tons and single-shot to 100 tons.