B&R Specialties Inc., a custom rotational molder based in Staatsburg, N.Y., has expanded its capabilities by adding two new machines.
B&R is primarily a custom molder, specializing in hard-to-mold shapes, but it has about 2,000 standard molds as well. Its patented Unifuse technology uses a method known as vibrational microlamination, which molds using a combination of heat and motion. B&R has been rotomolding since 1982.
Director Robert Fried said the vibrational process can make parts 6 feet deep with no draft.
One of the new machines can mold parts up to 16 feet long. Fried said the machine has manufactured surfboards, skis, fishing poles and even a boat.
B&R also has built a high-speed, five-step vibrational molding machine to complement its other 11 machines. All of B&R's machines are made in-house, to its specifications, Fried said.
B&R's low energy costs allow it to keep its prices low, Fried said, because the firm's process heats only the mold instead of an entire oven. Mold temperatures never reach the level needed for injection molding or extrusion, because the additional energy provided by the vibration process causes resin particles to fuse.
The slow cooling process after the molding takes place reduces stress, Fried said.
The company, which employs 25, reported $1 million in sales for 2003. It molds stacking and nesting tote boxes, high-density polyethylene dollies, tilt and bulk trucks, pallets and containers for the medical waste, automotive, food-processing, materials-handling, aerospace and refuse container markets. Fried is optimistic for his company's future.
``In a very difficult period for plastics, we have stayed consistent and grown some,'' he said.