Thin-gauge thermoformer Amros Industries Inc. of Cleveland has upgraded production controls and moved to a larger site.
Gregory Shteyngarts, owner and president, established the company in 1986, initially as a maker of special packing machinery. He began packaging for others in 1988 and started in-house thermoforming in 1992.
Now, any Amros packing machinery developments stay inside the company and, so far, that also goes for software creativity.
Using internal resources, Amros designed and built a real-time production-control system for the plant at a total cost of $50,000.
``We ... put it into place in early 2005,'' Shteyngarts said in a telephone interview. The efficiency gain: about 20 percent.
The system takes control upon receipt of a purchase order, oversees each run's machine start and finish and permits constant remote monitoring.
``We are adding inventory control with production control and tying them together. We may offer the [real-time] system on the market,'' he said, though he had no time line for such a step.
In a broader endeavor, Amros has completed a prototype and intends to change each thermoforming machine's software controls, at a cost of about $25,000 per machine.
Amros acquired a 65,000-square-foot building last year, relocating from its nearby leased space of 35,000 square feet. The company invested about $1.5 million for the building and $250,000 for three Drypoll inline thermoforming machines. Amros has 13 in-line vacuum and pressure formers.
The firm's thermoformed automotive parts include door weather shields and safety-belt cups.
Amros employs 42, including three mold makers, and had sales of $5 million for the fiscal year ended March 31. Passing along higher material prices accounted for much of a $1 million increase in sales from the past fiscal year.