Despite the economic downtown and a smaller presence, MassPlastics 2009 remains an important New England event, according to organizers.
We do the show because it is a statement for the region. It is not just to show the history of plastics, but to show that there is lot of diversity here, from medical devices to defense work to staple consumer goods that's the primary reason, David McKeehan, president of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, said in a recent interview.
McKeehan noted that despite uncertainty, companies that displayed their wares at the show held Oct. 21-22 in Fitchburg, about 50 miles northwest of Boston were optimistic about the future.
McKeehan said that number of exhibitors at MassPlastics was down about 30 percent. The show guide listed 68 exhibitors, but some booths represented multiple companies.
Absolute Haitian Corp. of Worcester exhibited its remote monitoring control system on a 135-ton Zhafir Venus all-electric injection molding machine. The firm is the North American supplier of Ningbo Haitian Group Co. Ltd. injection molding machinery made in Ningbo, China, and has grown dramatically since being formed in 2006.
We've been gaining market share even though the U.S. market is shrinking, said Glenn Frohring, president.
He said that Haitian sales were up as companies look for energy and cost savings from replacing older machines. I feel the market is a lot better and will grow it can't get any worse, Frohring said.
Peter Gardner, vice president and general manager of DJK Group of Wood Dale, Ill., which sells Niigata machinery, also saw a change.
In the last couple of months we've see a huge increase in inquiries and orders I hope it lasts, said Gardner. He added that DJK was the first to run a press at MassPlastics and that New England is a big market for us we have close to a 50 percent market share.
Milacron LLC of Batavia, Ohio, promoted energy savings at the show with the introduction of thermal control solutions [TCS] heater bands geared for molding machines of 500 tons or less.
We had TCS at [NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago], but didn't have the smaller shapes so that's why we wanted to release them at [MassPlastics], Robert Strickley, director of marketing at Milacron, said. The bulk of the market is smaller tonnage.
The heater bands are encased in a vacuum formed ceramic fiber and are designed with 30 percent less wattage and are able to control temperatures to within plus-minus 1 degree, Milacron claims.
Hamilton Plastics Equipment LLC of Bedford, N.H., has boosted its offerings to 14 different product lines, according to owner Mark Hamilton.
It was a little slow in the first half [of 2009], but now we're getting back to the levels we've seen before, he said. We're getting calls again, and the last four months have been great.
Hamilton said that his company was representing five new clients and rounded out its offerings by adding extrusion lines from Boston Matthews Inc. Hamilton's products range from injection molding machines to robots and different auxiliary equipment.
Roehr Tool Corp. of Hudson, Mass., brought its newest dovetail collapsible core to MassPlastics.
Dave Helenius, senior applications engineer, said that the core targets cap and closure industries. It enables customers to design and build molds that require only mold open, mold close to operate and reduce cycle times, and has a patent pending quick-lock system.
Progressive Components, of Wauconda, Ill., the parent of Rohr, showed new plate lock systems for advanced parting line sequencing.
Progressive offers plate locks in an externally mounted cam-driven style, as well as in internal-mounted ejection design. The company is a supplier for the tooling industry.
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