HK Plastics Engineering Inc. of Oceanside has completed development of a self-gripping, hook-and-loop fastener system for an orthopedic bracing application and is evaluating the technology for other markets.
Medical accounts for about 80 percent of HK's business.
HK signed a licensing agreement for the patented molding technology with Aplix Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., in March 2010 and expects to start production of the product in early 2012.
“The main reason our clients switch to an 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, said HK sales Vice President Ron Krippner.
A user pays a royalty fee for each part delivered, but “having a hook system molded right into the part “saves ... money in the long run by eliminating secondary operations,” he 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 assembly, fixing and joining firm Aplix SA of Le Cellier, France.
In April, HK began operating two new 55-ton electric Toyo Si-55IB presses as replacements for two 55-ton hydraulic Toyos. In late 2010, the firm added an electric vertical Toyo ET-45VR2 press.
HK now employs 82 and runs 31 presses of 35-500 tons.