The following briefs were gathered by reporter Steve Toloken at the Medical Design and Manufacturing East show, held June 6-8 in New York.
DM Sales installs 2 thermoforming lines
Thermoformer DM Sales & Engineering Inc. recently added two new lines, expanding its capacity about 20 percent in the past year.
The Indianapolis company added the equipment, which is more automated than previous lines at the plant, because of product demand and as a way to remove labor costs, said President David Mickel.
The expansion cost $850,000, and gives the firm a total of 10 thermoforming lines.
The company also is looking for acquisitions in thermoforming and other plastic processes in the markets its serves, including medical, hardware and consumer products, Mickel said.
The company has about $10 million in annual sales, he said.
Nextron beefing up after parental split
Nextron Medical Technologies, formerly Haemotronic Inc., has spent about $5 million in the last year on injection molding presses and molds to rebuild its manufacturing after a change in its Italian corporate parent.
Nextron put about 25 injection presses in a factory outside Mirandola, Italy, to replace production lost when it split with its former corporate parent, Haemotronic SpA, also in Mirandola.
Nextron, which used to be known as Haemotronic Inc., was the U.S. unit of Haemotronic SpA, but spun off in April 1999 when the two owners of Haemotronic SpA split the business, said Willer Ghelfi, vice president of Nextron, which is based in Fairfield, N.J.
Nextron makes components for cardiovascular, dialysis, urology and IV equipment. The factory has presses ranging from 200-500 tons.
Eclipse gets out from Tech's shadow
Injection molder and toolbuilder Tech Inc. of Merrimack, N.H., has spun off its design unit in a bid to create a separate identity for the new company.
Tech's former design unit, now called Eclipse Product Development Corp., was getting pigeonholed "because people assumed it was all plastic" and would not do work in other materials, said Jim Sellers, the principal for Eclipse. Eclipse is in Nashua, N.H.
The company found that less than 5 percent of its design work resulted in molding business, Sellers said.
Customers also may not have availed themselves of the design shop because they thought they would have to use Tech for molding, said Roger Somers, chief operating officer for Tech. Tech employs about 100 and has $10 million in sales, while Eclipse employs eight and has about $700,000 in sales.
Wilden, Plastiform form joint venture
Injection molders Wilden Plastics (USA) in Peachtree City, Ga., and Plastiform Inc. in Opa-locka, Fla., have formed a joint venture.
The companies are not taking equity interests in each other, but said they will look to work together on projects.
The deal is part of Wilden's attempt to broaden its capabilities without purchasing companies or building factories, said Simone Schmid, marketing manager for the company.
"They are a good fit for us — sizewise, end markets, types of equipment are all similar," she said.
Wilden is part of Wilden GmbH Co. KG in Regenburg, Germany. Wilden also is looking for partners on the West Coast and in the Midwest.
Privately held Plastiform has 18 injection presses ranging from 27-310 tons, and has about $3.2 million in annual sales, said Joe Harrell, sales manager.
Geon Engineered Films Inc. in Winchester, Va., is developing an olefin that can be used as an alternative to PVC, possibly in drainage bags, inflatable bladders and other products, said Greg Ratlief, manager of research and development for automotive and industrial projects. An announcement could come this fall, he said. ... Injection molder and mold maker Hy-Ten Plastics in Milford, N.H., plans to add a 6,500-square-foot Class 100,000 cleanroom this summer. The facility will have two 110-ton presses. ... Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. has added three film extruders to its Wayne, N.J., research center for making multilayer film. ... Injection molder Group GLP Hi-Tech Inc. in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, has developed a way to make thermoplastic elastomer dead-end insulators for telephone poles, replacing ceramic and silicone. ... Plastics Technology Laboratories Inc. of Pittsfield, Mass., has expanded its capabilities to offer part testing, in addition to material testing. ... Thermoformer Prent Corp. in Janesville, Wis., won an award for a catheter tray that reduces shipping costs 50 percent. The award was from the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. ... Cyro Industries in Rockaway, N.J., has introduced an acrylic-based multipolymer that is alcohol-resistant. It is competitive with polycarbonate, said Stephen Magaziner, business manager of modified acrylics and alloys.