Japan's Dai-Ichi Seiko Co. Ltd.'s American-based injection molding subsidiary is gaining steam, buying equipment and picking up contracts with its customers in the automotive, electronics, medical and consumer goods industries.
Touchstone Precision Inc. opened in Auburn, Ala., in the fall of 2001 with four injection molding presses. It now has three presses due to arrive by the end of this year and another three in early 2003.
``We have big plans for the future,'' said sales director Tom Houtteman.
The company employs 27 at a 31,000-square-foot factory, but there is space at the site to triple operations, he said. It also operates a sales and technical office in Livonia, Mich.
Dai-Ichi Seiko, founded in 1963 in Kyoto, Japan, has 14 plants, the bulk of them in Asia - in Japan, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Touchstone is its first foray in North America. The company is serving Dai-Ichi's Asia-based customers in the United States, among them Denso Corp. and Yazaki Corp., and picking up contracts with U.S.-based firms including Texas Instruments Inc.
The company has annual sales of about $250 million and specializes in high-precision components such as gears, connectors and actuators. It has presses with clamping forces of 40-120 tons, with two more 40-ton machines and an 80-ton set to arrive this year. The firm uses equipment from a variety of machinery makers, Houtteman said.
The presses expected next year are a 150-ton and two 180-ton machines.