A Chicago-area custom molder used a $1.6 million investment in automation and new injection molding machines to lure back business that previously was going to Asia.
In-mold labeling robots gave Dana Molded Products Inc. the sales pitch needed to secure the business. The action, officials said, is part of an ongoing growth trend at the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based company and sister firm Dana Plastic Container Corp., a blow molder in Roselle, Ill.
Dana Molded Products added four new Toyo all-electric presses one with 150 tons of clamping force, and the other three with 300 tons. Dana Plastic Container purchased a Sidel blow molding machine.
The four new lines at Dana Molded Products shut down 16 lines in Asia, said Dana President David Hidding in an Aug. 27 telephone interview.
The company is exploring options to build or retrofit another facility. Both Dana operations occupy about 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space and employ a total of about 65 workers. Hidding said Dana Molded or both operations may move, depending on the options available. He said he plans to move in the next nine to 12 months into more efficient manufacturing space that is about 50 percent larger. The companies will stay in the Chicago area, he said.
Dana Molded Products makes parts for packaging, appliance and electronics, and the automotive industry.
Dana Plastic Container does both continuous extrusion blow molding and PET reheat, Hidding said. The PET reheat business serves primarily the beverage market. The continuous extrusion blow molding business primarily makes containers ranging from 1 ounce to 1 gallon for household chemicals, automotive fluids, and cosmetics.
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