The following briefs were gathered by senior reporters Bill Bregar and Joseph Pryweller at the National Design Engineering Show & Conference, held March 5-8 in Chicago.
Northeast Mold plans to increase space
Northeast Mold & Plastics Inc. wants to expand its mold department. But first, it has to move its tooling and engineering operation.
The Glastonbury, Conn.-based injection molder and toolmaker is negotiating to buy an 8,000-square-foot building there to house its tooling and engineering departments, said President Maury Bodeau. The agreement should be completed in a couple of months, he said March 5 at the National Design Engineering Show & Conference in Chicago.
Once that happens, the company plans to add 4,000 square feet to its 13,000-square-foot headquarters, Bodeau said. Northeast will invest $1 million to $2 million together in the twin expansions, Bodeau said.
"Business is surging," Bodeau said. "We now need two buildings to house our operation."
The molder recently purchased two Milacron all-electric machines and a third is on the way. The machines have clamping forces of 33-165 tons. The company would like to add another 600-ton injection press within the next year, once the expansion is completed, Bodeau said.
The new tooling facility will include a new wire electric discharge machining station that the company is purchasing and a machining center that already has been installed.
The family-owned business custom molds parts for the medical, electronics, lighting and consumer products industries. Northeast recorded about $5 million in sales last year and employs 40.
Seitz Corp. opens up Chinese design center
These days, lots of manufacturers have outsourced manufacturing to Asia, but Seitz Corp. has its own spin — the injection molder has set up a low-cost design center in Changzhou, China.
The Changzhou team works with the main group of Seitz designers, which is at Seitz headquarters in Torrington, Conn. Using the Internet, the designers make computer-aided-design files of parts, such as plastic gears, that Seitz is creating.
In addition to access to bargain-price but skilled design talent, Seitz (Changzhou) Motion Control Systems Co. Ltd. lets the U.S. company make molds more quickly, said Jeffrey Bricker, Seitz business unit leader for air-moving and transportation markets. The Chinese crew works all night, in North American terms, so Seitz effectively gets 24-hour design coverage.
Seitz can begin cutting a steel mold two days after a customer places an order, Bricker said at the company's booth at the Chicago show.
Seitz makes the tools and molds parts at its U.S. operations.
"We like to think we're on the leading edge of technology with respect to gears. In recent years, we're expanding into rotary-motion parts" such as blower wheels and fans, Bricker said.
Using its system of mold inserts and pre-machined blanks, Seitz can make a mold for a gear in just two weeks.