Distinctive Plastics Inc. of Vista, Calif., has invested about $680,000 in the past 15 months for equipment and the warehouse-management-system module of the IQMS enterprise-resource-planning system.
``This integrated, plantwide wireless system enables remote scanning of inventory and raw materials, production reporting on the fly and remote communication,'' said Distinctive President Timothy Curnutt. Now, the firm tracks products, raw materials, molds and inserts in real time within the plant. Costing about $28,000, the system should be fully functional in mid-April.
Last year's purchases included a two-shot Arburg with 165 tons of clamping force and 360-degree platens, a 300-ton Toyo with a 31-ounce barrel, and two three-axis robots - a Yushin servo pneumatic and a Star Automation servo.
More recently, the custom injection molder acquired a pair of Conair K-loaders, vacuum loaders, color feeders and temperature-control units to support another new, two-shot Arburg, a 55-ton unit arriving in May. Distinctive also acquired three Universal Dynamics low-speed granulators, three Crizaf Automation Systems conveyor line and separator systems and two Fanuc LR Mate six-axis robots.
Distinctive said it may add at least one more two-shot Arburg - a 100- or 220-ton unit - during 2006.
``Our strategic focus is technical injection molding services, which primarily falls in the areas of three-dimensional in-mold decorating and various uses of two-shot technology,'' said Kip Carter, business development manager. During 2005, the firm began offering in-mold decoration and labeling services, which now account for about 12 percent of the business. Two-shot technology is used for 14 percent of the business.
Distinctive employs 90 in a 44,000-square-foot site. The firm operates 22 presses of 29-500 tons and had 2005 sales of $8.5 million. Previous-year sales were $7.2 million.