MOUNT GILEAD, OHIO—HPM Corp. has built its first U.S.-made Next Wave injection press, three years after the Ohio machinery maker bought a German company and its retractable-tie-bar technology.
HPM plans to ship the 1,100-ton, two-platen press June 8 from its plant in Mount Gilead to United Plastic Housewares in Leominster, Mass., said Stephen Byrnes, HPM vice president and general manager of injection molding.
The Next Wave machines combine Hemscheidt Maschinentechnik Schwerin GmbH & Co.'s method of pulling the tie bars back when the mold opens — which gives full access to the mold area — together with HPM's U.S.-designed platens. Until now, HPM had built Next Waves only at the former Hemscheidt factory in Schwerin, Germany.
``We expect to ship from this facility 20 1,000-ton-and-up machines based on this design'' in HPM's current fiscal year, which began June 1, Byrnes said.
He was interviewed at the plant June 2, as technicians completed final tests on the press.
HPM introduced the Next Wave at NPE 1997. Since that trade show, Byrnes said, HPM has sold 35 German-made Next Waves of 1,000 tons and higher to U.S. customers.
U.S. production gives HPM quicker shipment times and also cuts import duties and freight costs, Byrnes said.
``You have significant costs to manufacture in Germany and ship to the U.S. market,'' he said.
The Ohio-made Next Wave presses will come with Barber-Colman controllers as standard equipment. Siemens controllers are standard on the German-made machines.
HPM in Schwerin makes the two-platen Next Wave machines in clamping forces of 460-5,000 tons.
Meanwhile, Byrnes said the sale to United Plastic Housewares signals broadening interest in the retractable-tie-bar technology. He said HPM has sold Next Wave presses to automotive and appliance molders, including seven presses to Maytag Corp.'s factory in Newton, Iowa.
The 1,100-ton press going to Leominster sports independent hydraulic circuits for clamping and injection, a system Byrnes said is popular with housewares molders. The independent circuits allow the screw to run at full speed during clamping, trimming cycle times.
The entire press is U.S.-made, including the injection unit, which uses the traditional HPM design, Byrnes said.