Custom injection molder Houston Plastic Products Corp. has extended its clamp tonnage range and added an environmentally controlled molding area.
The Houston-based company added a 500-ton TMC injection press with a 98-ounce shot size in August. The machine brings Houston Plastic's fleet up to 26 presses and surpasses its previous upper clamp limit of 375 tons, according to Houston Plastic President, CEO and owner Randy J. Wooley.
“It's for across-the-board sectors but some customers wanted it for specific work and so we decided to install it,” Wooley said in a phone interview.
Houston Plastic's key markets are oil and gas, medical/health, transportation and consumer products. It molds engineering resins, including polyetheretherketone and glass-filled nylon in presses with clamps as small as 40 tons.
Wooley said the controlled environment area is aimed at medical parts and dimensionally critical components for several markets. Controlling humidity and temperature helps keep part specifications within limits, he explained. Gears and filter components are examples of components with tight tolerances.
The large press addition follows a year of expansion with smaller presses. Since last October Houston Plastics has installed three Arburg presses with machine-mounted robots and three other presses for its controlled environment molding area. Clamp forces for thosehalf dozen machines span from 44 to 165 tons.
“Adding these machines increased our capacity by 25 percent in that molding range,” Wooley noted. “We have plans to also add at least three additional machines and replace a number of our older machines this year and in 2015.”
The seven presses added in the past year and the controlled environment project totalled about $750,000 in investments, Wooley estimated. He is pondering press sizes of about 380 tons for the upcoming purchases.
Houston Plastic employs about 55 in its 50,000-square-foot facility on a nine-acre lot. Wooley did not disclose annual sales figures but said it is in the $10 million range.
Wooley purchased the firm in late 2012 from Hancock Park Associates. It was founded in 1950 as Fred Allen Co. and owned by the Allen family until 2007.