STERLING HEIGHTS, MICH. — U.S. Farathane Corp. is making inroads into the auto industry with several new products, and may expand its Sterling Heights injection molding plant. The 60,000-square-foot facility also houses corporate headquarters and a technical center and is getting crowded, U.S. Farathane President Rick Bessette said.
The firm plans to use its recent success with one product, an innovative evaporator core seal for a major automotive customer, to win more auto business, Bessette said. The product recently was a finalist both in a Society of Plastics Engineers competition in December and the 2000 Pace awards presented March 6.
Accounting firm Ernst & Young and Automotive News, a sister publication to Plastics News, conduct the Pace contest, which recognizes auto suppliers.
U.S. Farathane molds dual-durometer parts, two-piece hot- welded brake reservoirs and other heating, ventilating and air- conditioning components.
The new seal is made using two-shot molding of rigid polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomer.
The TPE|provided a better seal and reduced air loss compared to the part it replaced. It also helped eliminate an odor caused when the old part absorbed moisture and allowed bacteria to grow.
U.S. Farathane also operates a plant in Utica, Mich., which injection molds parts mostly of thermoplastic polyurethane, and a plant in Madison Heights, Mich., which casts PVC.
The firm had sales of $66 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31. Bessette projects sales of $68 million for this fiscal year and $74 million next year, reflecting the start of several production programs.