Rodon Group has captured a custom injection molding job from China.
The Hatfield, Pa., firm has invested more than $500,000 in automation to make it more competitive than the previous, undisclosed molder in China.
Our molding and packaging are cheaper than in China, said Rodon Senior Vice President Lowell Allen in a telephone interview.
We use 64-cavity molds and end-of-arm tooling. We stack the parts into plastic bags and heat-seal them, Allen added.
Star Automation Inc. of Menomonee Falls, Wis., supplied the automation equipment for the molding job. The equipment was installed in September.
The molding job is for 400 million pieces a year for an undisclosed North American customer. The part is 71/2 inches long and shaped like a knitting needle. Rodon molds it from medium impact polystyrene on 177-ton Nissei injection presses.
We have improved our ability to automate projects over the last 54 years, Allen said. This project may be the most complex in our history.
Star will help customers repatriate more injection molding work through shorter lead times and lower total cost, stated Star Automation President Kenji Shiotani in the news release.
Rodon runs 106 presses with clamp tonnages of 40-400 in a 125,000-square-foot building. It is owned by building toy producer K'Nex Brands. It does a mix of molding jobs for K'Nex and in custom molding.
Rodon and K'Nex each employ about 80. Rodon's main markets include toys, consumer products, medical, construction and pharmaceutical. Established in 1956, Rodon has made more than 30 billion parts for K'Nex since 1992.
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