Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these news briefs from several trade shows held Jan. 10-12 in Anaheim, Calif.
MSI adds machines worth $2.5 million
MSI Mold Builders Inc. has invested $2.5 million in adding four machines to reduce labor and machining requirements and increase capacity at its facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Greenville, S.C.
The equipment includes a five-axis, high-speed Fidia machining center in Greenville; and a 5-inch Kuraki horizontal boring mill, a Tarus gun drilling machine and a five-axis, high-speed FPT Dino milling machine in Cedar Rapids.
``The big push is to decrease lead times and cut operations,'' said President Roger Klouda.
MSI has pursued lean manufacturing principles for three years. ``We relocated machinery to get the flow better, and we worked on processes,'' Klouda said.
MSI employs 75 in 38,000 square feet in Cedar Rapids and has 18 employees and 20,000 square feet in Greenville. The firm has a third facility in Bentonville, Ark.
Dynisco LLC displays trio of new products
Dynisco LLC of Franklin, Mass., exhibited an advanced polymer analyzer from its Alpha Technologies unit, a MiniJet addition to Dynisco Extrusion's Beringer Jet Cleaner line and an amplified melt-pressure transmitter from Dynisco Instruments.
The APA 2000 measures the viscosity, solidification rate and final modulus of thermoplastic resins in one test, said Henry Pawlowski, senior applications engineer with Alpha in Akron, Ohio.
For thermoplastics use, ``we had to improve the low-end torque measurement sensitivity.''
The Beringer MiniJet - Dynisco's smallest cleaning unit - can remove thermoplastic and many thermoset and rubber compounds from small metallic parts.
The Franklin-made melt-pressure transmitter incorporates redesigned electronics from Dynisco GmbH in Heilbronn, Germany, and comes equipped with zeroing capability through use of a push button.
The device entered the market in December.
Algus Packaging Inc. renovates, automates
Algus Packaging Inc. of De Kalb, Ill., invested more than $300,000 for automation equipment, plant renovation and tooling to do downstream total fulfillment.
``We are having success with divisions of 3M [Co.] and Illinois Tool Works Inc. and other customers in packaging consumer retail products,'' said Ed Baggett, Algus vice president.
Algus did the renovations during 2004's second half. ``We anticipate about a 30 percent first-year growth on the new business,'' Baggett said.
The company, which also does high-volume thermoforming and manufactures sealing machines, had 2004 sales of about $8.5 million. It employs 75 and uses contract labor as needed.
Bekaert plans to add U.S. plant this year
Expansion-minded Bekaert NV of Zwevegem, Belgium, intends to add a U.S. production plant late this year. No location was disclosed, and the company said other U.S. plants may be established in coming years.
Bekaert already has a decade-old U.S. facility, Bekaert Advanced Coating Technologies, in Amherst, N.Y. In January, that operation named Jose Flores market manager in San Diego.
The firm supplies wear- and corrosion-resistant Dylyn-brand coatings for injection mold parts.
Conair introduces new hopper loaders
Conair Group Inc. of Pittsburgh introduced a line of Access hopper loaders with a hinged lid, angled canister, consolidated terminals/pneumatics and modular valves.
The Access loaders work with machine and drying hoppers and blender bins and are available in self-contained motor-loader sizes of 0.25 and 0.5 cubic foot and central vacuum sizes of 0.25, 0.5 and 1 cubic foot.
Conair will continue to offer its 1.8- and 3-cubic-foot conventional DuraLoad units.
The angled canister permits easier cleaning and works with blender bins where multiple loaders need to fit in a confined space. The hinged lid can be opened with one hand.