An injection molder and its consolidated subsidiary are launching a venture in China with FoamTech Co. Ltd.
Artistic Plastics Inc. and its division TNT Plastic Molding, both of Anaheim, will open Impact China Inc. this summer in Huidong, China. The overseas unit of Artistic will be an international manufacturer of plastic products and custom tooling, said Dennis Chadwick, Artistic vice president of operations and co-owner.
Artistic acquired TNT in late 2006, but the business uses TNT for its public identity.
Impact China will invest between $500,000 and $1 million in Huidong for infrastructure, auxiliary systems and presses, including six hydraulic injection molding machines of 300-600 tons from Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd.
In Huidong, polyurethane foam shapes molder FoamTech of Tainan, Taiwan, is leasing 20,000 square feet of a 200,000-square-foot facility to Impact China.
The firm plans to employ 25 there and will mold houseware products for export and the U.S. market, and water filtration products for the U.S.
``We see a potential for [sales of] $10 million per year,'' said Diane Mixson, president and co-owner of Artistic Plastics. FoamTech owner David Shieh has a 30 percent stake in Impact China.
Family-owned Artistic Plastics acquired TNT from Harry Tait and combined mold-making resources in the TNT plant.
Tait formed TNT in 1973, and John Chadwick established Artistic in 1975, initially as a mold-making shop.
The Anaheim owners were acquainted, and their businesses grew separately but always maintained a close operating relationship. Tait died in July, seven months after selling the business.
Chadwick, who is 62 and a company director, has passed ownership of Artistic to his wife, Lyn; daughter, Mixson; and sons, Dennis and Douglas, who also is a vice president.
TNT has focused recently on components for the agricultural, aerospace, industrial, chemical testing, water filtration and equipment housing markets. Artistic Plastics has concentrated mainly on markets for small high-performance pumps and fluid-handling equipment, home and garden products, aerospace parts and consumer, computer and electronic appliances.
The combined Artistic Plastics-TNT entity employs 165, including seven mold makers, and operates 28 injection presses of 90-610 tons. The business occupies 44,000 square feet in two structures and had 2007 sales of $21.6 million, Mixson said.
Current equipment includes a three-dimensional stereolithography machine for solid rapid-prototype imaging of models and patterns. Other capabilities involve pad printing, hot stamping, ultrasonic and spin welding, and assembly.
Meanwhile, the firm has had some opportunities to bring work back from China to the United States.
In 2007, TNT took a job involving polypropylene garden-pot saucers for big-box home improvement stores overseas.
The work went offshore because of an issue with solvent-based paint, but molding with a suitable decorative colorant justified bringing the work back to the U.S.
In another case, an Artistic customer that makes architectural landscape lighting went directly to China and contracted an inexperienced vendor to build tools for a product to be injection molded with highly engineered Ryton polyphenylene sulfide from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC.
The customer encountered some trouble with molding, and, after some debate, asked Artistic for assistance.