With $4 million of new machinery in the last six months and a $10 million, 105,000-square-foot building opening this month, NyproMold Inc. is investing in technology to be more productive and cut labor costs.
``The mold-making game in the U.S. has changed where if you half-played, you're dead. You have to give 100 percent. That's our theory,'' said President Bill Muldoon in a June 7 interview at the Clinton facility.
The company is a 50-50 joint venture between Clinton-based injection molder Nypro Inc. and partners Muldoon and Brian Walker. The venture makes injection molds for the consumer, industrial, electronics, telecommunications and health-care industries.
NyproMold was founded in 1988 after Nypro decided not to make its own tools in-house.
The venture competes with other mold makers for Nypro's business, according to Muldoon said. However, at times, NyproMold does as much 50 percent of its work for customers other than Nypro.
NyproMold has 155 employees and focuses on high-end molds, such as two-shot molds or molds where the duplicates have to match the original exactly. This is important for global customers that manufacture the same product in different regions.
Muldoon said NyproMold has exported about 400 molds in the last five years. In an average year, the company makes about 300 molds overall.
As for sales, Muldoon said that it peaked at $33 million four years ago. He hopes to exceed that plateau this year.
``Our biggest driving forces are to reduce lead time and reduce pricing. We are doing this through better organization and systems and with faster equipment,'' Muldoon said.
The move to a new building has been challenging and Muldoon credits John Casali, a project manager from Nypro, for keeping everything under control. The move should be complete by July 1, Muldoon said.
On the first floor of the new home, NyproMold has a tech center that includes a variety of presses for molding prototypes. It also has a room for a seven-person metrology staff to make sure the parts match the specifications.
The plant also has tooling work cells with two high-speed electronic discharge machining centers tucked between a robot with 15 pallets of work pieces. The setup reduces labor costs and can run seven days a week.
On the second floor, NyproMold does precision assembly work, and other value-added services. It also has a Class 100,000 clean room covering 25,000 square feet.
Muldoon said that NyproMold recently put out a 15,000-pound mold, but its average mold is in the 500-pound range.
Prior to the new operation, the venture made molds in a building next to Nypro, as well as at longtime vendor Mark Technical Mold in Leominster, Mass. Muldoon said the Mark Technical plant closed in mid-May and its machinery and all but one of its employees have moved to the new building.
NyproMold also has a plant in Gurnee, Ill., called NyproMold Chicago.
The company is also working on Spin stack technology developed by Graham Technologies. It can take one shot, rotate the core 90 degrees, cool it, and then fire off another shot and do the same thing.
According to Ghassan Aswad, marketing and sales coordinator, the new technology is effective for two-shot applications. The technology means processors can use a higher production tool in a smaller press, which optimizes cycle time and cuts costs.
``We try to eliminate any lead time any possible way,'' Aswad said.