Expanding or adding technical centers was a key theme for several injection molding machinery manufacturers during Plastics USA in Chicago.
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. of Bolton, Ontario, will expand technical sites in Chicago and Detroit, and will close a smaller facility in Cincinnati.
The moves will let Husky showcase offerings for more-complex product development and integration products, officials said, in an investment totaling roughly US$4 million. At the current Chicago site, Husky has 7,000 square feet and three test bays, said Rick Tustin, general manager of Husky's Chicago region. ``The largest machine we can put in our center right now is a 550-ton machine,'' he said.
To test larger molds and space bays differently, Husky will move less than two miles to a 15,600-square-foot site equipped with five bays. The new setting will have higher ceilings. The site also will allow Husky to assemble systems and configure multimaterial systems.
In Detroit, the firm will add 10,000 square feet for customer training. The 102,000-square-foot site is Husky's main training center in North America.
``Detroit's large-tonnage business is growing very rapidly [and] our Hylectric line overall is growing very rapidly,'' he said.
The Chicago site employs 18. Husky will close a smaller technical facility in Cincinnati in November. The Chicago region will pick up four employees from that location, which currently employs about 10.
Toshiba Machine Co. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., has moved its technical training center to its head office, allowing the firm to dedicate 3,000-square feet for machinery.
Formerly, its complete building was about 5,000-square feet. Officials will close that site, located across the street from its head office, said Kazz Takamura, vice president of its injection molding division. Toshiba will have an open house at a yet-undetermined date.
The firm invested about $500,000 for a state-of-the-art training classroom, and set up the training center to overlook the technical center, similar to the plant environment, officials said.
The area can accommodate a minimum of four working machines, and the company has added three service engineers.
Demag Plastics Group Corp. of Strongsville, Ohio, added two regional technical centers via partnerships with universities. Demag said it donated a 50-ton Multi injection molding machine to Behrend College on the campus of Penn State Erie University in Erie, Pa.; and donated one 80-ton IntElect all-electric machine to Griffin Technical College in Griffin, Ga.