To handle new medical work, Midwest Plastic Components of St. Louis Park, Minn., invested about $1 million for molding, milling and robotic equipment last year, said President Peter Thompson. Medical and defense markets each account for about 40 percent of the business.
The firm added a 110-ton IntElect press, a 110-ton hydraulic and a 500-ton two-platen Caliber Series machine, all from Demag, and a 385-ton Milacron Fanuc injection compression molding, or coining, press for production of optically clear polycarbonate security and surveillance domes. The firm installed a high-speed Haas VF-2 milling machine during the summer.
The Demag presses were for a medical project that the company contracted for in early 2006.
``We brought in the equipment in July at the same time that molds were delivered,'' Thompson said. A pre-production run began in February.
Meantime, the unnamed multinational customer has awarded Midwest another project involving use of five molds and manufacturing of three products.
During 2007, Midwest may replace two presses, add at least two more machines and complete development of two more robotic cells.
Midwest employs 160, operates 48 presses of 17-700 tons, occupies a controlled environment of 100,000 square feet and had 2006 sales of $25.2 million. Operations include a Class 10,000 clean room, two Class 100,000 clean rooms and a controlled white room.
Midwest attended the Medical Design & Manufacturing West trade show in Anaheim.