FRASER, MICH. — Automotive injection molder Continental Plastics Co. has invested $2 million to bring four new presses to its Fraser factory in a move to make itself more competitive. Two of the Milacron 1,100-ton, two-platen presses replace machines used since the mid-1970s, said Russ Thomas, vice president of sales and marketing. Another two 1,100-ton presses are additions to the site.
The machines have a 230-ounce shot size. They went into use last month.
Continental now has 44 injection molding presses at three factories, with clamping forces of 200-2,200 tons.
The new machines will allow Continental to improve efficiency by 20 percent, Thomas said in a Feb. 23 telephone interview, providing the company with a better chance at winning bids for projects with its automotive original equipment manufacturer customers.
"It's not only quality that matters," Thomas said. "It comes down to being more efficient with your pricing as well."
The presses will produce interior parts such as glove-box doors, pieces for knee-bolster air bags and trim for doors, he said.
Continental registered $113 million in sales in its last fiscal year, which ended June 30. It has nearly 300 employees at the Fraser plant and more than 600 injection molding workers companywide, with other molding operations in Alpharetta, Ga., and near Mount Clemens, Mich., in Chesterfield Township.