OCEANSIDE, CALIF. (Aug. 8, 3 p.m. ET) — HK Plastics Engineering Inc. has completed development of a self-gripping hook-and-loop fastener system for an orthopedic bracing application and is evaluating the technology for use in other markets. The medical market accounts for about 80 percent of HK's business.
Oceanside-based HK signed a licensing agreement for the patented molding technology with Aplix Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., in March 2010 and anticipates starting production of the initial product in early 2012.
“The hook system shows stellar performance,” said Ron Krippner, HK vice president of sales. “The main reason our clients switch to injection molded hook is because it greatly increases the quality of their part,” improves overall aesthetics and avoids the delamination of traditional pressure sensitive adhesive-backed hooks.
A user pays a royalty fee for each part delivered, but “having a hook system molded right into the part saves our clients' money in the long run by eliminating secondary operations,” Krippner said. “Studies show the performance of a molded hook system far outlasts the standard hook and loop systems available today.”
Aplix Inc. is a unit of the assembling-fixing-joining firm Aplix SA of Le Cellier, France.
In April, HK Plastics began operating two new 55-ton electric Toyo Si-55IB presses as replacements for two 55-ton hydraulic Toyo machines. In late 2010, the processor added an electric vertical Toyo ET-45VR2 press. Now, HK employs 82 and operates 31 presses of 35-500 tons.
On a typical production day, the molder uses five or six of its eight proprietary mobile HK HepaCell units. HK obtained a patent on the technology in 2008. Each creates a Class 100 environment at any press as needed.