Brown Machine LLC is looking to expand sales by reaching out to potential customers.
The thermoforming machinery specialist wants to move beyond its strengths as a supplier of top-technology - and typically high-cost - equipment with a new division to provide systems for economy-minded buyers.
``We wanted to service the entire thermoforming industry,'' said President Dick Lacana at the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division's 2002 conference, held Sept. 15-17 in Nashville.
Brown launched its business 50 years ago in Beaverton, Mich., making a full line of machines for heavy-gauge processors. But as time passed, the company focused on higher-end users that demanded more automation.
Most processors, however, do not necessarily need all of those bells and whistles, Lacana said. With the Brown Titan line, the firm will produce modular models that will allow buyers to purchase anything from an entry-level machine to fully automated lines, adding whatever components they desire.
Brown also has added industry veteran Richard Brashier as part of its development of Brown Titan. Brashier was founder and president of Vector Machinery Inc., which went out of business earlier this year. Along with Brashier came ``certain assets'' of Vector, Lacana said, including manufacturing capacity in Asheboro, N.C., and three other key technical managers.
Brown Machine also has inked a marketing agreement with Foxmor Group to expand its sales in cut-sheet thermoforming equipment to new customers. Foxmor of Wheaton, Ill., formed in 1998 to provide manufacturing and marketing consulting services.
Brashier, now president of the Brown Titan division, compared the new offerings with automotive opportunities for consumers - with shoppers able to buy a standard model or add any variety of extras, from a stereo upgrade to additional safety equipment or a sports package.
``But with Brown Titan, the basic car is still a Mercedes,'' he said.
Brown will offer full service for the new line including maintenance, engineering and setup. As thermoforming expands into more industries, Lacana said he expects other types of processors to seek equipment makers that can help them enter the thermoforming sector.
``They can grow in the business and we can offer them a full turnkey operation for whatever they need,'' he said.