Rotomolder Thompson Technik Ltd. is helping to keep motorists on isolated stretches of Britain's highways in touch through its supply of plastic components for 6,000 emergency roadside telephone units.
Technik of Hessle, England, will supply GAI-Tronics with component sets, including housings, headers, column covers, caps and door components.
Burton-upon-Trent, England-based GAI-Tronics Ltd., a manufacturer of rugged, specialized communication products and part of GAI-Tronics Corp. of Reading, Pa., won the Highways Agency contract as part of three-year program to replace existing phone units on major routes throughout the country.
``With the number of components involved [in the order], controlling tolerances to generate successful interfaces, and molding-in fixings and connection inserts has been challenging,'' said Technik divisional marketing manager Shaun Champion.
The moldings are being produced at Technik's plant in Pontycymer, Wales, where it just invested about £500,000 ($993,000 million) to install an 11½-foot Caccia shuttle rotomolding machine.
Rotomolding offered cost-effective tooling and good manufacturing lead times for the phone parts, as opposed to injection molding, according to Champion.
A key aspect of the project was the decision to use color-compounded, ultraviolet-light-stabilized polyethylene, which allowed the units to retain distinctive colors longer, as well as making the parts more dimensionally stable, Technik said.
Thompson Technik, which is the vehicle and industrial products division of leading component thermoformer Thompson Plastics Group of Hull, England, develops and makes industrial products for industries such as the refrigeration, air conditioning and construction sectors.
The company also manufactures vehicle components including fuel tanks, interior trim and expansion bottles.
GAI-Tronics Corp. is owned by power, electrical wiring and lighting products group Hubbell Inc. of Orange, Conn.