Computer Designs Inc. has invested about $2 million in three thermoforming machines that bring some pioneering technology to the Pennsylvania company.
The heavy-gauge thermoformer is installing new machines from Hyannis, Mass.-based Sencorp Inc. that include closed-loop infrared scanners, said Computer Designs Vice President Paul Treible.
Two of the new high-speed, in-line machines will be used at Computer Designs' High Point, N.C., plant, with the third operating at its Whitehall, Pa., headquarters site.
The equipment automatically adjusts oven temperature depending on variations in sheet thickness. The machines also adjust for changes in ambient temperature, depending on how hot or cold it is inside the plant, he added.
That control reduces warping and cracking, said operations manager Bruce Lattanzi.
Computer Designs is one of Sencorp's first customers for the new scanners, said Sencorp President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Urban.
Computer Designs makes trays for medical devices, a market that requires precise parts. The company also uses a great deal of glycol-modified PET, a sensitive material that is extremely heat sensitive, Treible said.
The $2 million that the company spent on new equipment included chillers, dryers, compressors and other auxiliaries, said sales executive Chuck Ortwein.
The new machines are capable of running sheet sizes as large as 28 feet by 32 feet, Ortwein said.
Computer Designs opened the 46,000-square-foot High Point plant last year. Previously, the firm had leased another facility in High Point.
The company recorded sales of $11.1 million last year, and expects a 25 percent increase this year.
Computer Designs will add six to eight employees as part of the equipment expansion. The company currently employs 85.
Including the new equipment, the company has three thermoforming lines in North Carolina and four in Pennsylvania, Treible said.