Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. of Fairfield, Iowa, is adding two new Kautex blow molding machines as it continues increasing capacity to serve non-automotive fuel-tank markets including lawn and garden equipment, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, off-highway motorcycles and marine uses.
The machines will be used to produce six-layer plastic fuel tanks that meet the latest Environmental Protection Agency emission regulations, according to officials.
“We continue to evaluate our capacity,” sales manager Mick Stielow said in a Nov. 18 phone interview.
Agri-Industrial added two other machines in 2010 to prepare for 2011 production.
“We're systematically planning for capacity expansion every step of the way,” Stielow said. “We'll have a total of five [more machines] by the end of next summer.
“These two machines will help us keep up with demand of customers. The demand is there. We're currently hiring and training employees. We're gearing up and adding employees in preparation for 2012.”
According to Kautex, the KBS 241 and KBS 61 machines are equipped with six-layer heads, multilayer extrusion systems, six-axis parison transfer robots and Blow Command 4 microprocessor controls.
The KBS 241 has a 132-ton single clamp, and has a throughput rate of 1,984 pounds per hour. The KBS 61 Smart is equipped with a throughput rate of 1,653 pounds per hour, and a 66-ton single clamp.
The machines give Agri-Industrial a total of 24 blow molding machines supplied by Kautex, five of which are equipped to produce six-layer fuel tanks.