CHICAGO (Sept. 8, 12:30 p.m. EDT) — A buy-American advocate from Ohio who has started his fourth structural foam molding business has purchased a large, Uniloy structural foam molding press and a two-platen Maxima injection press, Milacron Inc. announced during NPE 2003 in Chicago.
Milacron sold the press, designed to make big parts that have a deep draw, to 20/20 Custom Molding of Holiday City, Ohio, west of Toledo. The machine, with a 120-inch stroke, can shoot 200 pounds of plastic. The clamping force is 1,500 tons.
The two-platen injection press has a clamping force of 725 tons.
The molding company, started by Ron Ernsberger in 2001, already has seven Uniloy structural foam machines — three 500-ton presses, one 1,000-ton, superwide platen Uniloy machine and three remanufactured, 375-ton Milacron injection presses modified to do both low-pressure structural-foam molding and standard high-pressure injection molding.
Ernsberger has been a custom structural foam molder for about 25 years. “It's a very versatile and forgiving process,” he said.
Ernsberger believes in buying American-made machines and tooling and said he will not buy offshore tooling or machines. He said the Uniloy machines keep his firm on the cutting edge of technology, adding new features and improving repeatability, flexibility and ease of operation.
“They've taken the black magic out of the process,” he said.
This is the fourth structural foam molding business Ernsberger has started. Before 20/20, he started Vision Molded Plastics Ltd. in Napoleon, Ohio, in 1993, then sold it four years later to Carson Industries.
However, 20/20 marks the first time he has built a factory from the ground up; he modified buildings for the earlier companies.
Ed Hunerberg, executive director of Milacron's structural foam business, said the 1,500-ton Uni-loy press gives 20/20 the largest-tonnage, highest-output machine of any custom molder.
“It puts him in a position where he has something that other custom molders don't have,” Hunerberg said.
Ernsberger decided to go ahead with 20/20 despite the economic downturn. He said the planning was too far along to stop. Also, there aren't many custom structural foam molders.
“There's less competition and market saturation. There are a lot of good injection molders — probably 60 in a 60-mile radius of here — but few custom structural foam molders in the whole country,” he said.