Officials at Fairfield, Iowa-based industrial custom blow molder Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. are making major capital investments in an effort to position the company as the industry's go-to non-automotive fuel-tank manufacturer.
Stringent quality and environmental regulations and standards common in the automotive fuel-tank industry for the past decade are making their way into the non-automotive fuel-tank industry.
Agri-Industrial is investing about $5 million in a new six-layer large-part coextrusion blow molding machine from Bonn, Germany-based Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH. It will be the company's second $5 million unit from Kautex. The first was added in 2005.
The new machine will join its twin, and 20 other monolayer blow molding machines this month at Agri-Industrial's 186,000-square-foot plant in Fairfield, Lori Schaefer, the company's director of business development, said in an Oct. 7 telephone interview.
The six-layer continuous coextrusion process allows for Environmental Protection Agency-compliant fuel tanks.
The company also recently installed an 8-foot by 12-foot by 9½-foot freezer that the company uses for in-house quality-control drop testing of large fuel tanks.
It's really driven by customer requirements, Schaefer said. To validate our own processing standards, it made sense to have one here on site.
When you make fuel tanks, quality control is pretty darn important.
The company custom molds fuel tanks for various markets, including the recreational vehicle, agricultural, marine and lawn and garden industries. Pig feeders and orange barrels for high construction are among some of the other parts made by the company, which has about 350 active molds, Schaefer said.
Agri-Industrial processes several polymers, including high density polyethylene, low density PE, polypropylene, ABS, polycarbonate and several more specialized engineering resins.
Copyright 2009 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.