IMBC Blowmolding Inc., a Canadian molder of packaging, medical and automotive parts, kicked off a long-term investment plan at K 2004 when it agreed to buy up to 10 extrusion blow molding machines from Bekum America Corp.
The total purchase, when completed, would double production capacity at IMBC. President Bob Starr said the Orangeville, Ontario, company now runs a dozen extrusion blow molding machines. Many are older ``blow and drop'' presses turning out bottles that require hand trimming.
``The new machine will have completely automated bottle delivery,'' Starr said.
IMBC generated US$6.8 million in sales for fiscal year 2004, which ended June 30. Starr said IMBC expects sales to hit $8 million in fiscal 2005.
The company makes bottles for household, consumer products and cosmetics, and molds for the pharmaceutical, medical products and automotive sectors.
Starr said IMBC also is a major supplier of plastic covers used on shock absorbers for General Motors Corp. The company employs 75.
Bekum America Corp. of Williamston, Mich., announced the sale in late November. The first machine is scheduled to arrive in the spring.
For Starr, the motivation to buy new machines is simple: ``The competition has become extremely strong.'' And he's not just talking about North America. China also worries him, even though packaging makers may seem to be insulated from that low-cost country.
``The best defense is an offensive move,'' he said.