Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these news briefs from several trade shows held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Anaheim, Calif.
Stopol Inc. growing in L. America, Europe
Stopol Inc. is boosting its presence in Latin America and Europe, investing about $1 million and hiring 10-20 workers.
Stopol touted the initiative Feb. 2 during the WestPack trade show in Anaheim. The privately held firm projects the efforts should increase sales by $4 million to $5 million in the first year, mostly from equipment sales.
The company is receiving an increasing volume of inquiries from Latin American companies interested in more sophisticated processing equipment, especially of models not older than the late 1990s. At one time, most buyers in Latin America would settle for basic older equipment.
In Europe, Stopol is expanding a sales office in London.
Stopol is close to launching a bilingual Web site with the help of Buena Vista Creative Group of Cleveland.
The company also introduced a high-profile Latina celebrity, Cynthia Olavarria, 23, to promote the company in Latin America. She was Miss Puerto Rico last year and the first runner-up in the 2005 Miss Universe Pageant. Olavarria hosted a children's television program at the age of 12, and appears in advertisements for numerous high-profile firms.
Stopol employs 60.
Unit Industries Inc. to gain 12 presses
Injection molder Unit Industries Inc. of Fullerton, Calif., is adding 6,000 square feet, including a Class 100,000 clean room of more than 2,500 square feet, and new equipment.
Expected to be operational by March, the clean room will handle jobs involving silicone and liquid injection molding.
The space is adjacent to the firm's 11,000-square-foot facility. The firm plans to add 12 thermoplastic injection molding machines, said Anthony Codet, president and chief executive officer.
The first three machines include a 5-ton all-electric Toshiba, a 55-ton all-electric Demag and a 38-ton hydraulic Newbury.
Unit Industries is producing military slip-ring connectors; multiholed medical connectors, each weighing 0.1 gram; and microsize parts for a medical defibrillator. The firm recently was issued a U.S. patent for a slip-ring contact for surveillance cameras, a new market for the company.
Unit Industries employs 50, including three mold makers and, without the additions, operates 30 presses including 24 thermoset machines of 20 tons and six thermoplastic presses of 20-60 tons.
In December, the company invested nearly $15,000 to install 12 television cameras for remote plant monitoring.
Using a laptop computer and an Internet connection, a sales person can show the manufacturing operations to a prospective customer.
Codet projects 2006 sales of about $4 million. Codet acquired Unit Industries in July from Jack Abouchar, who founded the company in 1973.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Prior to the purchase, Codet sold equipment to firms in the plastics industry for 20 years.
Desktop prototyper popular for Roland
Roland Advanced Solutions Division of Lake Forest, Calif., is receiving more orders than it can deliver for an $11,000 prototyping system.
Glenn Kennedy, sales manager for three-dimensional mills and scanners, said he twice has doubled his three-month North American allotments of the MDX-40 desktop Subtractive Rapid Prototyping system.
Parent firm Roland Corp. of Hamamatsu, Japan, introduced the SRP system in Japan in late 2004 and in the United States in early 2005.
SCA's new retail line claims high visibility
SCA Packaging's Consumer Products segment of De Kalb, Ill., featured a new line of custom packaging that focuses on design goals such as security, branding and differentiation. The line is called Custom High-Vis Retail Paks.
Separately, SCA displayed its patent-pending Aergo 2-plus heat-sealing machine with automated tool exchange, known as Atex. The product is offered on two-station manual-shuttle and automatic rotary machines.
Engineer Ron Warden said the line is designed to improve changeovers and operator safety.
C&J Industries adds clean room, space
C&J Industries Inc. of Meadville, Pa., has invested $1.5 million over 18 months for a new Class 100,000 clean room and additional molding and milling equipment.
Slated to begin operating in early January, the clean room will have 14 presses with clamping forces of 20-170 tons and will almost triple the firm's previous clean room molding capacity.
Recently, C&J purchased a 180-ton all-electric Toshiba and reorganized its larger presses into a single bay with a 5-ton bridge crane for efficiency.
In its tool shop, C&J acquired a computer numerically controlled Charmilles 440-CC wire electronic discharge machine, three Mitsui grinders and a Harrig CNC grinder.