Ensinger Putnam Precision Molding ordered three turnkey work cells from Wittmann Kunststoffgeräte GmbH and anticipates having them operational by mid-summer.
Ensinger Putnam signed purchase orders at NPE 2015 in Orlando, Fla., in March and projects expending about $600,000 for three all-electric Battenfeld injection molding machines of 61, 121 and 198 tons and a plethora of auxiliary equipment.
“We assembled a team starting almost 10 months ago, and that culminated with the purchase of the three work cells,” said Matt McKenney, general manager of Ensinger Putnam.
“We looked at a number of manufacturers from around the globe and found that the best solution was in our own back yard,” he said.
Slightly more than 70 miles separate the Ensinger Putnam site in Putnam, Conn., and the equipment supplier's U.S. location, Wittmann Battenfeld Inc., in Torrington, Conn.
The auxiliary equipment includes six Tempro basic C200 temperature control units, three DryMax E30/70 dryers, six FeedMax S3 integral loaders, three MAS2 conventional granulators, two W818 servo robots and one W808 servo robot.
“This customer takes advantage of us being a full-line supplier,” said Markus Klaus, manager of the U.S. injection molding machine division for Wittmann Battenfeld.
Wittmann is manufacturing most of the equipment in Austria and will ship the components to the 12,000-square-foot Torrington facility for assembly of the complete work cells, testing to the customer's specifications and conducting trials using Ensinger Putnam-supplied molds.
Wittmann is building the automation components in the United States, Klaus said.
“We will train the customer on running the equipment in our technical center,” Klaus said. “After one week of production and customer acceptance, we will disassemble the equipment and relocate it to Putnam.”
The project excites McKenney.
“The training facilities are state of the art, and the spare parts inventory is quite impressive,” McKenney said. “What swayed the team most of all, beyond the quality of the product, was the ability to have all the equipment related to an injection molding cell manufactured by one company. This makes the line of communication very clear and will lead, we believe, to a great long-term partnership.”
Ensinger Putnam employs 66, occupies 66,000 square feet and operates 20 injection molding machines of 40-500 tons.
“We will immediately be taking two machines off line and eventually a third so that our total number of machines will remain at 20,” McKenney said.
The processor will configure its floor use and incorporate lean manufacturing techniques to maximize productivity and workflow.
Of existing equipment, “the average age is currently 18 years,” he said. “With the retirement of two older machines and the addition of these three [Battenfelds], we will have an average machine age of 14 years.”
McKenney noted Ensinger Putnam's newer equipment including six of 12 Nisseis and an Engel are of a similar technology to the Wittmann Battenfeld presses “except that these are the first all-electric machines in the fleet.”
For Ensinger Putnam, “injection molding is around 80 percent of our business with the balance being spin casting and plastic part machining,” McKenney said. End markets include aerospace, automotive, business equipment, industrial and medical.
The business has existed under various identities for 81 years, was one of the first companies to mold nylon in the 1940s and was the original and, initially, the sole U.S. distributor and service center for Battenfeld presses in the 1950s. The company moved to Putnam in 1966, and ultimate parent Ensinger GmbH acquired Putnam Precision Molding in 1996.
Nufringen, Germany-based Ensinger GmbH employs about 2,100, has annual sales of about $437 million and operates 28 production and sales locations globally. The firm's first foreign subsidiary, Ensinger Inc., has its headquarters in Washington, Pa.
In addition to the Connecticut operation, other Ensinger Inc. U.S. divisions extrude and cast stock shapes and make sheet, rod and tube in Washington, Pa.; extrude thin-gauge sheet, coil, strip and punched parts in Bensalem, Pa.; compression mold shapes and parts in Houston; and custom cast nylon parts and near-net shapes in Grenloch, N.J.