Spirex Corp. will begin sourcing blanks for bimetallic barrels from China - the first time the Youngstown-based screw and barrel maker has imported major components from that country.
Spirex said it has exclusive North American rights to buy barrel blanks from Hitachi Metals (Dongguan) Co. The city of Dongguan is between Shenzhen and Guangzhou in China. Japanese specialty steel maker Hitachi Metals Ltd. owns the operation.
Hitachi will supply the basic blank, with a centrifugally cast liner. Spirex will machine the completed barrels at plants in Sullivan, Wis., and Youngstown.
Spirex picked up the Wisconsin barrel plant when it merged with Bimetalix Ltd. in late 2001.
``We don't lose jobs because we're going to do all the finishing work here,'' said Spirex President Paul T. Colby. Spirex also will continue to make its own barrel blanks in Wisconsin, he said.
Bimetallic liners protect barrels from corrosion and abrasion. The Hitachi agreement will allow Spirex to offer two new materials for barrel liners. The Hitachi C-020 model has an iron/boron base to withstand abrasive materials. The Hitachi C-070 version features the durability of a unique carbon alloy.
Barrels made from the blanks will accommodate most brands of plastics processing equipment.