After a construction delay, Tec Air Inc., which molds air movement components such as fan blades and blower wheels, is making its move from a Chicago suburb to northwestern Indiana.
President Bob McMurtry said Tec Air is investing $15 million for new equipment, relocating existing injection presses and preparing the 128,000-square-foot manufacturing space in a giant industrial complex in Munster, Ind. The schedule had been to move to the new site last spring.
“It's just taken longer to get everything installed and built out then we expected,” he said in a telephone interview Dec. 4. “We've got some machines in place already but the move won't be complete until the first quarter” of 2015.
Tec Air will move from its longtime home in Willow Springs, Ill., where it operates in 58,000 square feet of space.
McMurtry said the company has completed the installation of an AEC Pinnacle series central water filtration and chilling system. The chilling station, which uses scroll compressors, can process and cool more than 100 tons of water. The scroll compressors use half of the moving parts of reciprocating compressors, increasing efficiency and reliability and reducing noise, he said.
“It's a state-of-the-art water cooling system for high-volume, high-efficiency molding,” McMurtry said.
Tec Air designs and manufactures components and systems for a range of markets, including automotive, appliance, agriculture, medical and heating, ventilating and air conditioning.
Tec Air also is adding six new injection molding machines — including its first all-electric presses. McMurtry said the company purchased two all-electric Niigata presses, each with a clamping force of 310 tons. Tec Air has ordered three more all-electric Niigata's, two 310-tonners and one 385-ton press.
The molder also added a 410-ton Haitian press with a servo-driven hydraulic system. That machine is already in Munster.
McMurty said the company will buy only all-electrics for future small-tonnage machines. For larger machines, Tec Air will buy servo hydraulics. The goal is to save electric costs. “As it becomes more competitive worldwide to mold these parts, you've got to look at each little cost,” he said.
Tec Air also will be moving its fleet of 38 hydraulic machines from Willow Springs to Munster. Most of those presses, which range from 66-730 tons, are Van Dorns. Tec Air also runs some two-shot Arburgs.
McMurtry said the new factory has room for expansion, with infrastructure already in place so the company can just drop in additional machines when needed. “And it looks like we're going to be getting some of that new business just as soon as we can get the plant built out,” he said. “There's a lot of activity going on.”