Pitney Bowes Inc.'s plastics components operation in Danbury, Conn., has added equipment and space in its march toward more custom molding and assembly work. A two-shot Ferromatik Milacron injection molding machine with 176 tons of clamping force went into operation in December. Two 440-ton Engels were added in July. Now, the operation has 33 presses of 17-500 tons.
Assembly work is growing, Peter Arentzen, director since 1998, said by telephone. Next year the operation may add 10,000 square feet to its main plant for more assembly operations. Assembly work occupies about 30 percent of the existing 65,000 square feet. Recently, Arentzen set up 3,000 square feet for assembly within an 85,000-square-foot outside warehouse.
Pitney Bowes' extensive lines of mail-handling and office equipment utilize about 80 percent of the molding and assembly output. Outside clients account for the remainder.
"We anticipate in the next couple years that it will be 40 percent Pitney Bowes and 60 percent outside," Arentzen said. "I see a niche for us in automotive because of the high-quality levels."
Other markets involve equipment for business and medical applications.
Pitney Bowes is increasing the amount of electronic connectors and boards in its products and moving away from mechanical devices. The company established the plastic components operation in Connecticut in the mid-1960s and, for about 30 years, limited production to captive work. It had operations in Stamford and then Norwalk before moving to Danbury.
The operation employs 180 on a six-day, 24-hour schedule and produces about 1,800 components. Those for Pitney Bowes tend to be short-run jobs.
The parent corporation reported profit of $458 million on sales of $3.24 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30.