When George Doumani speaks of profit engineering, he is talking about making a product better and less expensive.
Doumani, vice president of sales and engineering at Acromatic Plastics, showed off two walls filled with success stories as he touted the injection molder's ability to cut costs, at an open house held April 27 at Acromatic's new 110,000-square-foot facility.
``We've done a lot of metal-to-plastic conversions,'' he said, holding a digital-grid switching box enclosure.
The box was insert molded with various switches and later a back was attached with an adhesive to make it watertight. Doumani said the original was made for an Arizona company and had to be able to withstand flash floods. He added that the plastic version is much lighter than the metal box it replaces and more manageable for workers who must climb with it and attach it to a light pole.
Another example was an aircraft warning-light assembly. Doumani said the base had been stainless steel and was spot welded, but Acromatic changed it to plastic and now is making the lighting assembly less expensively. He noted that the job had to be done according to Federal Aviation Administration standards.
The company has made a variety of electrical and automotive products - even a blood-flow device with a titanium pin.
Now that Acromatic has finally moved to its new plant, it's ready for new challenges.
``It took us 1½ years to build the plant, but now we're done. We're looking to the future and new business,'' said President Peter Crisci. He said a cramped, 36,000-square-foot plant had kept the company from doing some work in the past.
Crisci said the company is hoping for more than $8 million in sales this year. Industrial products account for about 45 percent of the company's business. It is a Tier 2 automotive suppler, making dimmer light switches for both DaimlerChrysler Corp. and General Motors Corp.
Crisci added that consumer and medical products both are growth areas. He especially is interested in additional medical work, noting that medical now accounts for about 15 percent of the firm's sales.
The company uses a portable Class 10,000 clean room, and the new plant is configured to add a permanent one. Crisci also foresees a second building in the future that would house only medical work.
The new building, which cost $7.5 million, has 21 injection molding machines, with underground utilities and materials handling. Six of its machines are for insert molding. It has a special value-added area for sonic welding, assemblies and inspection.
The company, which is part of Crisci Tool & Die Inc., has a four-person tool shop to build and repair tools, but Crisci said most of its tooling now is made overseas.