Bales Mold Service Inc. is expanding both its customer base and headquarters operation to meet new demands.
The mold coating and finishes specialist will add about 10,000 square feet in Downers Grove in early 2005 to house equipment needed to serve the aerospace industry.
``Aerospace requires different handling, different coatings, even different documentation,'' said Harry Raimondi, technical services manager, June 7 at the firm in the suburbs west of Chicago.
``When you're dealing with the molds for aerospace, something like the mold for a fighter pilot's joystick has got to be precisely engineered and precisely coated,'' said owner Steve Bales.
Bales Mold has adapted in the past. It built a second facility in Harlingen, Texas, near the border with Mexico, to work with an increasing number of clients that were heading south.
The company added an electroless nickel boron nitride coating - called Nibore - early this year to provide another option for molders seeking good release as well as high wear and high temperature resistance. The company also is considering adding cadmium plating, Bales said.
The company is working to reach customers early in the production process, so it can advise molders on the best combinations of coating and finishing technology for a specific application, before the steel is even cut, Raimondi said.
The addition in Downers Grove will likely allow it to continue widening its base, Bales said. While services for the injection molding industry will remain at its core, the company will begin supplying products used in processing metal as well.