While the screw and barrel industry survived a brutal 2009, Xaloy Inc. had something to celebrate its 80th anniversary.
The landmark year got an exclamation point in September, when Xaloy, based in New Castle, Pa., bought its rival in Youngstown, Ohio: Spirex Corp. Xaloy already was the largest maker of screws and barrels, after buying New Castle Industries Inc. in 2003. The Spirex deal made it even bigger.
In 2006, Xaloy expanded into gear pumps, screen changers, cleaning ovens and water-ring pelletizers when it bought the extrusion business of Dynicso LLC.
That diversity came in handy during the recession, officials said. By offering a broad range of products, it helped us during the period of distress in our industry, said President and CEO Ron Auletta.
Xaloy also invested several million dollars into its New Castle plant last year. The company consolidated its chill-roll business into the headquarters operation, moving FR Gross out of its plant in Stow, Ohio, and Keystone Rolls from its plant in Wheatland, Pa. Xaloy completed the moves by mid-2009 and has closed Stow and Wheatland, Auletta said.
Xaloy moved more than 25 machine tools to New Castle for the chill-roll manufacturing.
We've made significant capital investments in this business here to accommodate our roll production, Auletta said. You can start with a clean sheet of paper, which has made us a lot more productive.
In other news from the 80th anniversary year, Xaloy formed a customer care team, bringing together sales, technical support and engineering to help customers improve cycle times, do changeovers and make other improvements.
You can learn a lot from the company's unusual name. Industrial Research Laboratories was born in California in 1929 as a contract research group. Soon, the firm developed an iron-boron alloy that was hard and resisted wear, later trademarked as Xaloy.
That was the beginning of major developments in metallurgy.
In 1934, the firm pioneered the process of lining steel cylinders with wear-resistant alloys by the centrifugal casting process. This led to the first bimetallic barrel for plastics machinery, installed in 1938 on an extruder built by John Royle Co.
Xaloy moved production from California to the eastern United States in the early 1960s, to be closer to customers. A series of innovations followed. The Xaloy 306 barrel with a nickel cobalt alloy delivered more corrosion resistance than the iron-boron alloy. Xaloy also came out with other alloys, such as the first barrel alloy containing tungsten carbide.
As the reciprocating screw swept aside plunger machines, Xaloy introduced the first pressure-resistant injection molding barrel in the mid-1960s.
Xaloy expanded into screws in 1987 by acquiring Flametech Corp.
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