A custom injection molder in West Des Moines, Iowa, has undergone a rapid transformation since Robert Janeczko, Stuart Oxer and Josh Janeczko became owners in June 2003.
In a management-led buyout, the men acquired the business, which had been part of Morton Custom Plastics. Adopting the name Innovative Injection Technologies Inc., or i2tech, they quickly revamped quality controls, added equipment, invested in processes and work centers, and stepped up collaboration with customers on design and tooling refinements.
Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. is i2tech's largest customer, and a majority of the diverse agricultural company's 60 facilities worldwide receive components from i2tech.
In June, Arctic Cat Inc. of Thief River Falls, Minn., recognized i2tech as its 2004 production-part supplier of the year. I2tech ``jumped significantly in our annual quality rating,'' said David Turpin, Arctic Cat vice president of materials. I2tech molds components for Arctic Cat all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
In March, a stacking office chair for HNI Corp.'s Allsteel unit of Muscatine, Iowa, won the furniture design competition of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics Division. I2tech molds seven parts of 18 percent glass-filled nylon for the chair.
I2tech has invested about $3 million for injection presses and related infrastructure improvements.
``We raised the roof to 40 feet high from 28 feet on two 80-foot-wide bays to accommodate the robot-equipped, 3,000-ton Husky that arrived in June,'' said i2tech President Robert Janeczko.
The equipment weighed 157 tons, arrived on 13 tractor-trailers and, for installation over four days, required i2tech to shut off water and power utilities and cease operations, Janeczko said.
A hood-fender-grille component for an Arctic Cat 2005 side-by-side ATV was a key driver in the machinery purchase. The huge Husky press can accommodate a 25.6-pound shot. I2tech also added a 700-ton Husky, a 44-ton Nissei and Maguire gravimetric blenders.
Currently, i2tech operates 26 injection molding machines - 22 are Milacrons, including one of the first presses that Milacron built, from 1968.
Two of the new owners were involved with the business during the Morton era.
Janeczko, 63, spent eight years in executive assignments managing Morton's various metal craft and plastics operations. He also was with Deere for 14 years in quality and supplier relations.
Oxer, 39, joined the West Des Moines business in 2000 and became general manager in 2002, a position he retains under i2tech.
The third owner, Janeczko's son Josh, is quality manager and oversees i2tech production operations.
I2tech employs 140 in 113,000 square feet and projects 2004 sales of about $24 million, up from the previous year's $18.1 million.
The company supplies parts to industrial and appliance manufacturers in addition to its agricultural, recreational and furniture markets.