Trend Technologies Inc. is installing four Engel injection molding presses and hiring as many as 50 technicians and operators in Elk Grove Village, Ill., previously a site only for metal stamping and tooling.
Trend expects to begin operating one 1,000-ton and three 750-ton units this month, Brian Dickstein, vice president and general manager, said in a telephone interview. Engel delivered the equipment in early April.
``We will leverage off our existing customer base to bring new molding work into the company,'' Dickstein said.
Mostly, Trend makes computer enclosures.
The site can accommodate 12 molding machines in a 200,000-square-foot former warehouse. So far, 15 people have been hired for the plastics operation, which will include mold maintenance and repair. The site employs 350 and anticipates a total of 400 by the end of the year.
The Illinois operation becomes Trend's third integrated plastics-metal facility, following Round Rock, Texas, and Dublin, Ireland.
Recently, Dickstein directed the shipment of three Minster metal-stamping presses to a new Trend site in Zapopan, Mexico. The Illinois location retains 10 Minster presses.
Trend acquired the Illinois operation in December 1997. It was Trend's first metal operation and was known then as Cam Fran Tool Co. Inc.
San Jose, Calif.-based Trend had 1998 sales of $197 million, ranking 24th on Plastics News' list of North America's injection molders. Other Trend facilities are in Longmont, Colo., San Diego and Albuquerque.