Demag Plastics Group disclosed new agreements with Automated Assemblies Corp. of Clinton, Mass., and Sterling Inc. of Milwaukee on Jan. 10 at Plastec West in Anaheim.
Demag formed an alliance that will allow North American processors to buy injection molding machines with integrated Automated Assemblies robotic and work-cell systems for applications such as in-mold labeling and decorating, insert molding, robotic clip insertion and other functions, including sprue picking, degating, deflashing, vision inspection and packaging.
``We see ourselves as an alternative to European projects,'' said Stephan Braig, Automated Assemblies president and chief executive officer.
Automated Assemblies designs and builds systems in Clinton and will support projects and factory acceptance tests at Strongsville, Ohio-based Demag.
Each of Demag's seven domestic technical and training centers will have Automated Assemblies systems. In addition, Demag direct sales managers Tony Codet and Chad Thacker will represent Automated Assemblies exclusively in the Southwest.
Until 2002, Automated Assemblies had an integration relationship with machine maker Milacron Inc.
Separately and effective Jan. 1, Demag began exclusive distribution of Sterling auxiliaries in California and Nevada. Demag displays operating Sterling units at its 1-year-old technical and training facility in Placentia, Calif.
An ongoing partnership in the Chicago market links Demag and Sterling through the common representative group PSGI, but the new arrangement is the first in which direct Demag employees represent Sterling, said Steven Petrakis, Sterling vice president of sales and marketing.
``We were looking at supplying equipment for their [Placentia] tech center, and it grew from there,'' he said.
The agreement covers Sterling's material processing equipment, granulators, temperature-control units and chillers. Sterling will assist customers with integration and training. Sterling is part of ACS Group of Wood Dale, Ill.
``Our industry is changing,'' Petrakis said. ``Sales-rep groups are slowly diminishing either through attrition or pressure from the last three years of recession. As a result, we all need to come up with creative ways to service our customers and the industry.''