The following briefs were gathered by Plastics News staff reporters Shannon Ledson and Steve Toloken at the National Design Engineering Show, held March 15-18 in Chicago.
Italy molder Boteco building new facility
Injection molder Boteco srl is building a new facility in Vicenza, Italy, with more than three times the square footage of its current plant in the same city.
When Boteco moves into the 16,500-square-foot plant in March 2000, it also will gain 3,300 square feet of office space, said technical director Mario Borgo.
The company molds knobs and handles for customers in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa.
The 26-year-old Boteco has grown out of its current facility, which has 5,280 square feet of manufacturing and office space. Once the new plant is built, the company will sell its existing building, Borgo said.
prototyper Bastech opens tooling center
Rapid prototyper Bastech Inc. opened an advanced tooling center near its Dayton, Ohio, office last month and purchased new machinery.
President Ben Staub said Bastech had grown out of its 5,000-square-foot plant and 1,500 square feet of space in a rented building across the street.
Aside from cramped quarters, it also was time for the company to expand tooling operations and open a center dedicated to advanced tooling, he said.
Bastech invested $85,000 in a new Haas VF3 vertical machining center to produce quick molds, and $50,000 in a Lindbergh center-well furnace for rapid steel prototyping, Staub said.
The new machines will allow the company to cut 20-50 percent off the time it usually takes to produce a mold, he said.
The Advanced Tooling Center still operates under the Bastech name but has its own, 5,000-square-foot building in Dayton. The formerly rented space no longer is in use, Staub said.
Ciba center offers training to customers
Ciba Specialty Chemicals AG, based in Basel, Switzerland, set up a customer training center in December complete with a new injection molding machine.
The specialty chemicals giant purchased the 55-ton machine as well as a high-speed milling center specifically to train its customers to use the company's products, which include color compounds and additives, said Ciba marketing manager Bill Geresy.
$2 million expansion under way for Deluxe
Small injection molder Deluxe Plastics Inc. is in the midst of a $2 million expansion during the next three years that will add 18,500 square feet and upgrade its mold-making department.
Deluxe added two molding machines in the past year — a 310 tonner and a 500 tonner — and probably will add more machines when the expansions are built, said General Manager Michael Curran.
Deluxe is located in Clintonville, Wis. Its markets include paper dispensing firms, furniture makers and consumer products companies.
The expansions will add 8,500 square feet of molding space and 10,000 square feet of warehouse space, giving the company 43,500 square feet. The company will break ground in two months, Curran said.
Deluxe also is remodeling its mold-making room, adding computer numerically controlled electrical discharge and milling equipment.
The company has 13 injection molding machines and does about $4 million in business annually.
Polygon Co. boosts it tubing capacity
Walkerton, Ind.-based Polygon Co. spent $1.5 million to expand one of its Walkerton plants, adding 40,000 square feet and boosting capacity for filament- wound tubing and pultruded medical tubing.
The expansions will add about 15 percent to the company's production capacity, and will boost the plant from about 160,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet, said James Shobert, one of the co-owners of Polygon. The expansion was completed in November.
The company is seeing growth in composite cylinders that replace metal air cylinders, and cannula tubing for minimally invasive surgery, Shobert said. The privately held company does not disclose sales figures.
The company has three plants in Walkerton, and one in South Bend, Ind.