Italy-based Gefran SpA has upgraded its U.S. plant in Winchester, Mass. - Gefran ISI Inc., which makes melt-pressure sensors for extrusion - as part of a $4.5 million overall investment in Gefran factories worldwide.
Gefran has automated some of the testing and calibration processes for its pressure transmitters, pressure transducers and gauges.
This marks the largest single investment made at the Winchester plant since Dick Carrara founded Industrial Sensors Inc. in 1987, officials said. Gefran of Provaglio d'Iseo, Italy, bought ISI in 1999.
``This investment reflects the commitment Gefran has to its redesigned melt-pressure sensors and its confidence in the U.S. plastics industry,'' said Mark Caldwell, Gefran ISI's vice president.
The manufacturing upgrades also increase production capacity at Gefran ISI, which employs 35 people at the 12,500-square-foot plant.
* Automatic pressure generation, with the click of a mouse, to check transducers and transmitters. The computer also directly inputs the data. In the past, a technician had to generate the pressure manually for testing.
* Digital calibration of the sensors, using personal-computer-driven electronics. The new technology also replaces a manual process.
``It's a total clean-out and revamping of the production process,'' Caldwell said.
Gefran SpA has six plants and direct subsidiaries in nine countries.