Netherlands-based toolmaker IGS High Tech BV has installed its third injection press, a 160-ton Engel machine, to give customers a wider range of machines for mold tryouts.
The company's latest investment will help to prepare it for its next big challenge - the huge North American market, where IGS intends to make an impact. The Dutch mold maker sees big opportunities for its high-performance multicavity mold-making skills.
``The U.S. is the country of large numbers. Our specialty is multicavity molds and these two fit together well,'' said IGS marketing manager Jan Willem den Hollander. He believes his firm can offer top Swiss molds with much shorter lead times for U.S. customers.
IGS of Tilburg added the Engel Victory 500 press to two other machines, 35-ton and 270-ton presses, which it installed in 1998, den Hollander said.
IGS employs 80 at its Tilburg plant. It recently joined forces with two other Dutch firms, SMS BV and Gentgens BV, to offer customers a range of plastic and metal products, including metal dies.
``Now we can supply turnkey solutions in combined parts in metal and plastics for areas such as electronics and automotive,'' den Hollander said.
IGS is making a name for itself in the medical molding business. Its multicavity molds, with up to 96 cavities, are used to make disposable goods for blood glucose monitoring devices, metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers and actuators.
Pharmaceutical and medical demand accounts for about 30 percent of IGS' sales, which reached 10 million euros ($10 million) in 2001. IGS recently won an order for 15 16-cavity molds from a customer in the diagnostic product field, den Hollander said.
Currently the company's overseas sales to customers in Argentina, Brazil, China and the United States account for 10 percent of its total. IGS plans to make a start on growing its American business in February when it exhibits at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West trade show in Anaheim, Calif.