Milacron Inc.'s announcement of a huge order for its all-electric injection presses may put to rest some questions about equipment at a new Delphi Corp. plant - or at least it begins to do that.
Officials with Milacron's Plastics Technologies Group in Batavia, Ohio, said June 12 it had completed delivery of its largest single machine order in North America, sending 124 all-electric Roboshot presses to an undisclosed facility.
The presses were delivered between August and April and are being installed currently, said Robert Kadykowski, general manager of the company's specialty equipment business.
The order helps create one of the largest all-electric molding plants in the world, Kadykowski said. ``It's just confirmation that acceptance of all-electric machines is getting greater and greater,'' he said. ``I don't know that there's another order of equal size to it.''
Industry sources said the recipient was Delphi's Packard Electric Division in Warren, Ohio. The automotive supplier had announced plans in 2001 to spend $60 million on a new injection molding plant to make plastic parts for wiring harnesses and electronic connection systems.
The company plans to install about 120 presses at the new site, located near the division's headquarters, said Delphi spokeswoman Ann Cornell. However, the company was not ready to discuss equipment at the facility, scheduled to open by early 2004, Cornell said.
The Milacron presses are a partnership with Fanuc Ltd. of Oshino-Mura, Japan, and were built at the Japanese plant, Kadykowski said. Milacron modified the equipment in Batavia, adding some mechanical parts and software, he said.
The machines the company makes in Japan have clamping forces of 6-330 tons.
The all-electric Si-B series includes new artificial-intelligence features and a faster injection acceleration unit.
The series is suited for a minimum of operator involvement, allowing repetitive parts to come from the same setup, Kadykowski said.
``We've taken away 90 percent of the art in the plastic molding business,'' he said. ``We want to make it more of a science.''