Custom injection molder Venture Plastics Inc. is beefing up 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 firm 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,” said Mickey Retherford, supply chain manager.
On the manufacturing side, Venture also bought three all-electric Arburg Alldrive presses in 2009 and 2010, an investment of about $600,000 in Newton Falls. Operations Vice President Jim Smith said all-electrics cut energy consumption. Venture also installed REX TCS radiant barrel heaters on its all-electric Milacron Roboshot machines, a move it 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 has started employee education in Newton Falls and its second plant, in El Paso, Texas, to explain its 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 Decoupled III uses in-mold sensors to control cavity pressure, viscosity and melt temperature to optimize molding. Venture, which has used RJG for about 15 years, has nine RJG master molders on staff — six in Newton Falls, three in El Paso.
Decoupled molding is a major investment, requiring extensive staff training and fine-tuning by the engineering department, Smith said. But the payoff is providing customers with process repeatability.
Venture should generate $24 million in sales this year, said Bryon Osborne, vice president of sales and marketing. In Ohio and Texas, the firm employs 150, and runs 32 presses from 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.