Action Mold & Tool Co. of Anaheim, Calif., acquired a 90-ton Engel vertical press to fulfill a purchase order for a client-referred customer and also to expand into insert molding.
The project requires design support, prototypes and new tooling and enters long-term production in mid-May, said Bill Hall, CEO.
Through consultations, it was determined that a vertical/vertical press with a [multistation] rotary table would be most efficient, he said.
In addition, Action Prototype & Urethane Castings LLC has been moving forward with stereolithography work, silicon molds and urethane castings for a medical client, Hall said. The company will use the Engel press to overmold thermoplastic polyurethane onto a nylon substrate combined with mesh fabric and Velcro fasteners.
In 2009, the firm formed APUC as a division headed by General Manager Chris Wentworth and focused on customer research, production development, prototyping and castings.
Thanks to the advancement of urethane technology in the last 10 years, we routinely make [low-volume] production parts with urethane, and they look great and stand up very well under normal use conditions, he said.
Hall preferred to buy a new Engel because they do make the best vertical machines, but he found the price prohibitive and pursued used equipment.
After multiple networking contacts, offers came back for just about every type of vertical machine manufacturer except Engel, he said. Apparently, once you buy an Engel rotary vertical, you don't want to sell it.
Then Hall spotted a Premier Equipment LLC advertisement for a 2001 Engel 90VV with a 9-ounce barrel capacity, and the transaction materialized. Terms were not disclosed.
Previously, the Engel molded children's products, according to Nicole Haas, owner and president of Premier, a plastics machinery dealer in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
With the press, Action can load an intricate insert package into the ejector side of the tooling while simultaneously molding high-tolerance parts, Hall said.
In addition to the Engel and tooling capabilities, the firm operates 12 horizontal molding presses of 22-220 tons. Over three years Action installed four new all-electric Toshibas of 45-85 tons to replace aging equipment.
Action Mold may purchase a Toshiba EC-20 press with robotic and optic measuring support.
The plan is to develop a clean room environment to support the request of one customer and hopefully build upon it with new [APUC] opportunities, Hall noted.
Established in 1993, Action Mold employs 15-20 and occupies 15,000 square feet.
While withholding sales numbers, Hall said Action Mold's sales have recovered from the downturn in 2008. Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 17 percent from the previous year's comparable period, he said.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.