MADISON, WIS.(May 10, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Strandex Corp., which develops wood-plastic composite technology, is investing in its extrusion tooling operation and a new patented puller speed control for extruded foamed profiles.
Wire Works Engineering Ltd. is adding machining and wire electric discharge machining equipment to its plant in Madison.
Strandex bought Wire Works in 2008 and moved the business to a modern facility in Madison. The 5,500-square-foot plant has been expanded twice since that time. Now the company is adding new computer numerically controlled vertical machining capacity and the latest wire EDM technology.
Wire Works makes extrusion tooling for Strandex projects and does custom machining.
“These new machines provide us with key flexibility to service our customers with the high quality in the timeframes they demand,” said Brian Keller, Wire Works operations manager. The capital investment will allow Wire Works to broaden its geographic coverage.
The recession continues for the building products sector, a key Strandex market that includes WPC decking, according to Strandex President Al England. But he said Wire Works has played a key role in helping Strandex licensees work out of the downturn.
“New product development projects are at unprecedented levels for many Strandex licensees,” England said. “Each project requires extrusion die and tooling innovations.”
Madison-based Strandex also announced it received a U.S. patent on April 17 for a puller speed control. The device monitors the dimensions of an extruded profile and controls the speed of the puller to maintain those dimensions. Although the unit is primarily intended for foam processing, it can be used with any composite profile that requires sizing to maintain tight tolerances, the company said.
“This invention was created to further improve the manufacturing efficiency of our Strancel wood-plastic composite foaming process,” said the inventor, David Dostal, Strandex research and development engineer.
In late 2011, Strandex got a European patent for a die system and a process for extruding foamed WPC profiles.