Mastercraft Cos. of Phoenix has ordered two all-electric Arburg injection molding machines, thanks to growth in the company's medical business.
The presses, with clamping forces of 110 and 144 tons, should come on line in February, Chief Operating Officer Dale Behm said in a telephone interview.
Mastercraft will incorporate transducer technology from RJG Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., into the two new presses and retrofit two all-electric 110-ton Milacron Robot machines. About a dozen Mastercraft workers have taken an RJG class on how to use the technology.
With the RJG infusion, Mastercraft is updating its medical molding and calling the process Signature Technology @ Mastercraft.
``Mastercraft has not done this before,'' Behm said. ``We committed [to RJG] in November and started getting orders.''
Medical molding accounts now for more than 50 percent of the business, up from 45 percent in early 2008. The next largest niche is production of portable consumer electronics, such as hand-held instruments.
Mastercraft employs 80, including six tool builders, and projects 20 percent growth in 2009 vs. its 2008 sales of about $8.5 million. That was lower than nearly $10 million in 2007.
``Not booking a lot of new business'' accounted for the 2008 drop, Behm said. ``Now, we have a much stronger sales approach.''
Mastercraft sources tools through four domestic shops in Arizona, Colorado and California and four international shops in China. ``We just completed 30-plus tools offshore,'' Behm said.
In fulfilling some customer requests, Mastercraft finds offshore sources and locks in a design before the tool is made, usually in China. The Mastercraft shop in Phoenix can handle any revisions or changes rather than having those modifications made offshore. ``We get a timing and pricing advantage,'' Behm said.
Mastercraft also recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. ``It is not every day a business owner can say he has continued to be profitable and in business for 40 years,'' said Arle Rawlings, chief executive officer and president, in a statement.
``Today, in the business of mold making and molding, you must be flexible and creative for we are competing globally and not just across town,'' Rawlings said. ``My advice: hire good people and create a team culture to be successful. It has worked for me for 40 years.''