Plastic Moldings Corp. has a hot market opportunity to manufacture close-tolerance embedded antennas for wireless communication devices. PMC is linked with RangeStar Wireless Corp. on new technology likely to appear in seven to 13 months in next-generation cellular telephone handsets, personal digital assistants and notebook-style computers.
Aptos, Calif.-based RangeStar announced the arrangement with PMC on Feb. 28.
"The part will require injection molding and some high-speed assembly," Tom Hennings, president of Cincinnati-based PMC, said in a telephone interview.
PMC's plant in Shelbyville, Ind., is expected to produce the part.
Commercial customers are testing 27 designs of RangeStar's Global Positioning System embedded antennas, said David McCartney, RangeStar executive vice president.
A RangeStar GPS antenna weighs about 1 gram and is embedded over existing components in devices made by original equipment manufacturers.
Material choice will be determined by the application.
"We may need higher-temperature resins," Hennings said.
Beginning in 2001, the Federal Communications Commission will phase in an emergency-response rule that upgrades accuracy standards for a wireless device's call location. GPS technology helps wireless carriers meet the rule.
RangeStar was formed in 1995 and employs 67, including 37 engineers.
PMC focuses on thermoplastic processing and secondary operations in Shelbyville, operating 30 injection presses with clamping forces of 33-375 tons. The Cincinnati facility emphasizes thermoset injection, reaction injection, compression and rotational molding with a total of 21 machines. A customer solutions center in Cincinnati has three other presses, including a 50-ton, all-electric unit.
PMC employs 300. About one-fourth of its annual sales of $50 million involve computer and telecommunication parts and housings for, among others, Lexmark printers, Symbol Technology bar-code scanners and thin-wall wireless devices made by Mitsubishi, Motorola and Kyocera/Qualcomm.