Officials from German injection press maker Arburg GmbH + Co. KG welcomed about 90 customers and suppliers to an Oct. 4 grand opening of a technology center in Elgin - in the heart of the United States.
``The United States of America is the largest export market for Arburg,'' said Helmut Heinson, managing director of sales. Heinson said more than 15,000 Arburg machines have been installed in the United States and Canada since the company's humble beginnings in 1962.
Arburg makes all its machinery at its corporate headquarters plant in Lossburg, in Germany's Black Forest region. The company opened a U.S. headquarters in Newington, Conn., in 1992, called Arburg Inc.
Arburg is investing in two new U.S. technology centers at the same time, one in Irvine, Calif., and the facility in Elgin. Arburg purchased two units in a shell building with 6,000 square feet of space, and then filled out the interior, including electric and utilities.
The Elgin center has a 2,500-square-foot showroom. At the open house, Arburg showed five injection molding machines running caps for packaging, liquid silicone rubber and a housewares packaging-type application.
Arburg Inc. President Friedrich Kanz said U.S. customers can keep work in the country by improving their operations with automation and high technology. Domestic molders are interested in accuracy, robotics and new areas such as silicone and multicomponent molding, he said.
``This technology center is built for you, our customers, to forge a much better, closer relationship,'' Kanz told the attendees.The Elgin site will handle customer service, as well as conduct training and customer mold trials. Spare parts will continue to be run out of Newington.
Arburg had a small tech center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., but closed it after ending a relationship with its Chicago manufacturers' representative, Kanz said.
Visitors to the open house heard three technical speakers, covering multimaterial molds, liquid silicone rubber and improving a manufacturing operation.
Martin Neff, Arburg's project engineering manager, said machinery makers are building presses for more complex work. ``But the application of the technology should be simpler,'' he said.
Ron Cisliek, vice president of Braunform North America of Pinellas Park, Fla., reviewed mold technology for multicomponent molding, or even in-mold assembly. Some systems can use spinning-stack molds, rotating between two injection units.
Eric Bishop, North American marketing manager, updated attendees on liquid silicone rubber materials from Shin-Etsu Silicones of America Inc. of Akron, Ohio. The materials are tailored to bond with specific plastics, like polycarbonate, nylon and polybutylene terephthalate, without the need to use a primer. Shin-Etsu calls the products ``selective, self-adhesive'' silicones.