Signature expanding into larger facility
HARTFORD, CONN. - Moving to a new, 17,000-square-foot facility Aug. 1, Signature Mold & Manufacturing Co. Inc. has come a long way in a short time.
What started as a one-man, after-work operation now is taking its largest step in four-plus years of operation. Signature, a mold maker owned by Jeff Bodeau, is moving to a leased facility in Hartford. The company has operated from a 3,500-square-foot space a few miles away in Glastonbury, Conn.
``Business is growing by leaps and bounds. There is a lot of work out there for the taking,'' Bodeau said.
The company employs 14, and Bodeau expects to hire two to four more by the end of the year. He said Signature had $1.2 million in sales last year and expects about $2 million this year.
There are a lot of keys to success, but one, according to Bodeau, is new machinery. He's spent $700,000 in the past seven months on equipment. One of the big purchases is a new high-speed machining cell consisting of a Makino SNC64 and a Makino Edge3 electronic discharge machining unit around a System 3R robot.
Signature is looking to add a horizontal milling center by the end of the year.
Another key is service.
``I deliver the molds personally and I'm there for the sampling. Customers seem to like that,'' Bodeau said.
The company makes one- to 16-cavity molds.
Bodeau, 32, grew up working at his father's injection molding company, Northeast Mold & Plastics Inc. in Glastonbury. He said that he got into his current business when customers and competitors kept looking for mold makers.
BASF whittles down ABS offerings to 10
LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY - BASF AG predicts global plastics consumption will grow 5 percent annually through 2015, citing rising standards of living, particularly in Asia.
The firm also is cutting its ABS product line from 1,500 grades to 10, as the material ``has increasingly developed from a specialty into a standard product,'' BASF board member John Feldmann said at a June 22 news conference in Ludwigshafen, where the firm is based.
BASF is nearing completion of a global plan to reduce the fixed costs of its plastics unit by more than $600 million between 2001 and the end of 2004.
In 2003 sales, plastics was the largest of BASF's five business segments, generating $11.1 billion while posting operating profit of $373 million.
Engel sells multishot, 4,400-ton machine
YORK, PA. - Engel Machinery Inc. has sold a giant, multishot injection press with 4,400 tons of clamping force to a Tier 1 automotive molder of bumper fascias.
York-based Engel declined to identify the customer.
The big press is equipped with a secondary injection unit, mounted over the main injection unit, that will produce small secondary components for the fascias.
Engel said the press can run dry cycles faster than any competing machine of that size.
The machinery supplier said the 4,400-ton, multishot machines will become an advantage as large-product designs continue to use multimaterial and multicomponent applications.
Hudson-Sharp buys competitor Amplas
GREEN BAY, WIS. - Hudson-Sharp Machine Co., a Green Bay manufacturer of plastic bag and pouch-making equipment, has bought Amplas Inc., another converting equipment business in Green Bay.
The June 7 purchase gives Hudson-Sharp the ability to make machinery that can bottom seal bags for concrete, fertilizer and peat moss. Amplas also makes machinery with wicketed side-weld technology, used for bread liners and zippered sandwich bags.
Hudson-Sharp was established in 1870, and was acquired by FMC Corp. in 1956. FMC expanded Hudson-Sharp's operations to Belgium, Australia and Brazil. Hudson-Sharp is known for a triple-lane grocery bag system that can produce 540-600 bags a minute.
Amplas was established in 1979, and has been the distributor in the Americas for Totani Corp. since 1985. Totani is a Kyoto, Japan-based company that produces pouch-making machines.
Day-to-day operations at Amplas are continuing. Products and personnel will be integrated during the next few months, according to a Hudson-Sharp news release.
Omnexus re-emerges with new Web site
PARIS - Online plastics company Omnexus has relaunched its informational Web site, www.omnex us.com. The firm offers technical information on materials, reports on trends and innovations, and a polymer selector designed to help engineers choose the right plastics or elastomer grades.
The change was announced June 10 by Christophe Cabarry, chief operating officer of SpecialChem SA, the Paris-based company that bought Omnexus in December.
Omnexus, which was formerly based in Zurich, Switzerland, had offered material-selection services before the site was sold.
Unlike the former Omnexus, the new site will not sell resins or elastomers, Cabarry said. The informational model is similar to SpecialChem's primary site, which focuses on technical services for additives, adhesives and coatings, he said.
The company plans to create revenue by organizing Web seminars and selling leads generated from its platform, Cabarry said. The service will be free to processors.
Denmark's Gram sites sales office in Arizona
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - Danish technology firm Gram Technology ApS of Birkerod, Denmark, now has a U.S. sales office.
Gram established its sales office the week of June 28 in Scottsdale, said owner and President Jes Gram. The firm plans to set up a U.S.-based technology center during the next few years.
``It could be anywhere,'' Gram said in a June 29 telephone interview. ``[We have] to go out and find the right place to do it, to identify the best area. Where do people want to go to see new technology? If you look at the U.S., I think they have a better possibility of adapting technology than Europe does because it's a bigger and more uniform market. Business is picking up.''
Gram's current customers include Nypro Inc. of Clinton, Mass., and Tech Group Inc. of Scottsdale. Gram licenses technologies for spin-stack molds and molding; in-mold painting; in-mold labeling and insert molding.
``Simple molding will be cost-driven, and the only place where we can justify ourselves is in technology,'' he said. ``If you are capable of making the complicated part, it's much more likely that you will be awarded the program because a customer wants a one-stop supplier.''
Arburg GmbH opens subsidiary in China
LOSSBURG, GERMANY - Just in time for the Chinaplas trade show, German injection press maker Arburg GmbH & Co. has opened a subsidiary in China called Arburg (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
The company has had an office in Shanghai since 1997 and a subsidiary in Hong Kong. The new China operation is a full subsidiary, reflecting China's growth and importance, Arburg said.
Arburg (Shanghai) officially opened July 1, and the old office was closed. Employees will move to the new subsidiary, which is 15 minutes from Hong Qiao National Airport.
The 1,650-square-foot facility has offices, a demonstration room, training area and spare-parts storage.