NEWTON FALLS, OHIO (Aug. 18, 4:10 p.m. ET) — Custom injection molder Venture Plastics Inc. is beefing up its manufacturing and distribution operations, while launching a sustainability program.
The company also has invested in a Decoupled III molding system from RJG Inc.
Venture officials outlined the investments during an interview Aug. 16 at the company's Newton Falls headquarters.
Venture has added a 20,000-square-foot distribution hub in a building next to its headquarters. That gives the company a total of 70,000 square feet of space in Newton Falls.
The molder is using the warehouse area to house finished goods, and to store some auxiliary equipment, fixtures and molds that are not used frequently.
“The integration of expanded warehouse capabilities with nearby molding services makes it very efficient for us to ship finished products to customers of Venture Plastics,” said Mickey Retherford, supply chain manager.
On the manufacturing side, Venture also purchased three all-electric Arburg Alldrive injection presses in 2009 and 2010, an investment of about $600,000 in Newton Falls. Jim Smith, vice president of operations, said all-electric machines cut energy consumption. Venture also installed REX TCS radiant barrel heaters on its all-electric Milacron Roboshot machines, a move the company said reduces energy consumption by 81 percent.
In 2009, Venture upgraded its plant-floor lighting systems in Newton Falls, cutting electric costs by 60 percent. Smith said the company will finish installing the energy-efficient lighting in the offices this year.
Venture also has started an employee education in Newton Falls and its second plant in El Paso, Texas, to explain the company's environmental policy and raise awareness. Between the two factories, officials estimate the sustainability effort has reduced electricity consumption by 10 percent, and 5 percent of other waste material in the past 12 months. Next year, Smith said, Venture will upgrade its cooling water system, a project intended to cut water usage by 80 percent.
The RJG Decoupled III uses sensors inside the mold to control cavity pressure, viscosity and melt temperature to optimize the injection molding process. Venture, which has used RJG for about 15 years, has nine RJG master molders on staff — six in Newton Falls and three in El Paso.
Adding decoupled molding “is a significant financial investment” that “requires extensive training for the staff, and demands consistent effort by the engineering department to fine-tune all of the essential components,” Smith said. “The payoff, however, is dramatic. We can now provide customers unsurpassed process repeatability.”
Venture should generate $24 million in sales this year, according to Bryon Osborne, vice president of sales and marketing. At the Ohio and Texas plants, the company employs 150, and runs 32 injection presses, with clamping forces of 55-725 tons.
The El Paso plant, which opened in 2006, has remained busy even during the recession, according to Joel Cabral, sales manager of the operation, called Southwest Venture Plastics Inc. Late last year, the company purchased a 150-ton all-electric Toyo for the Texas facility.