Plastic welding equipment producer Forward Technology completed an expansion it predicts will help customers become more efficient and cut costs.
The Cokato, Minn., company added 10,000 square feet of manufacturing and sales and office space, boosting floor space to 56,000 square feet, at the end of August.
“The extra space gives us more resources to help customers with innovation, prototyping and process development,” Forward Technology President Brian Kivisto said in a phone interview.
The firm supplies standard and custom welding and testing systems for thermoplastic components used in automotive, medical, appliance, consumer goods and other markets. Its product line is diverse, encompassing such welding technologies as hot plate, vibration, infrared, spin and ultrasonic. Other products test for burst strength and leaking.
Forward Technology said plans include increasing staffing for sales, marketing and technology in Cokato and at a sales office in Detroit.
Demand for plastics welding equipment has been growing along with the recovering U.S. economy, the welding specialist noted in a recent news release. Infrared welding demand is especially buoyant in automotive and appliance markets because the non-contact technique and its low maintenance advantages appeal to Tier 1 and 2 suppliers in those sectors, explained Kivisto.
Forward Technology's latest entrant is a dual-head vibratory welder for large parts such as pallets. The servo-driven equipment can weld up to 200 square inches of polypropylene at once.
Forward Technology is a subsidiary of Crest Group Co., which owns several companies in ultrasonics and similar businesses supplying a range of industries. Kivisto is executive vice president of Trenton, N.J.-based Crest. Forward Technology was founded in 1965.