AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - Many injection molders are feeling the slowdown in the automotive industry, but the materials-handling segment of the auto market is holding its own, according to a supplier.
``We're having a pretty good summer,'' said Rick Parker, operations general manager for Creative Techniques Inc. in Auburn Hills.
He attributed healthy sales to the continuing trend for returnable packaging.
Creative's main market is supplying materials-handling goods to auto majors, including the Big Three and offshore transplants, Parker said in a telephone interview. It uses injection and structural foam molding to make containers, spools, trays, dunnage, monorail carriers and related products.
The private firm expanded last fall with a new, 500-ton Wilmington structural foam machine, giving it four structural foam molding machines. It also runs 13 thermoplastic injection presses. In addition to Auburn Hills, Creative has a plant in nearby Orion Township for total floor space of 100,000 square feet, Parker estimated.
The latest press has a 75-pound shot capacity, a 6-inch extruder and an accumulator for high-speed injection. One reason Creative bought the press was that it wants to run more multiple tools per press. Creative also runs a tool shop and engineering department, and its quality control is ISO 9002 and Ford Q1 registered.
Creative, established in 1984, has annual sales of $18 million to $22 million, said Parker.