Silicone valve manufacturer LMS Inc. has added an electric injection molding machine to help boost its growing thermoplastic components business.
The new electric press a 110-ton Toshiba allows the firm to produce in-house plastic subcomponents for valves, according to Justin Sessink, LMS sales and marketing coordinator.
In-house production will complement partnerships that LMS has with plastic molders in the United States, Mexico and Asia, he said.
This press will be used primarily for thermoplastics including thermoplastic elastomers but Sessink said future electric machines likely will be used for both TPEs and silicone.
In recent years, about 90 percent of the quotes LMS has sent have been for elastomeric flow-control valve assemblies, but plastic assemblies and subassemblies are growing revenue generators for the Midland, Mich.-based company, Sessink said.
The firm's medical market is its fastest-growing segment and nearly every quote includes using thermoplastic-based materials.
LMS does not plan to use the new machine in its Class 10,000, ISO 13485-certified clean room, Sessink said.
But by the end of 2009, the 24-year-old company will double the size of the clean area in Midland and bring in three or four new injection presses for use there because of its double-digit medical market growth.
The company also serves consumer and commercial end markets.
LMS also has an engineering department, mold-building capability and in-depth testing and laboratory services.
The firm chose an electric press because it offers better control for small, complex parts, according to Greg Cole, LMS senior process engineer.