Riverside, Calif. — Trademark Plastics Inc. has added a TPCG Inc. division in Moreno Valley, Calif., is boosting capabilities in Riverside and is ramping up in Tijuana, Mexico.
The custom injection molder is experiencing growing demand from its medical device and consumer product customers.
In October, Trademark appointed industry veteran Phil Estrada as operations executive in Riverside and longtime Trademark employee Bryan Barrera as vice president of sales for the Riverside and Tijuana facilities.
Estrada joined Trademark in December 2015 as vice president of engineering. Previously, he was with Prestige Mold Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., for five years during which he helped set up the sister Pres-Tek Plastics molding operation. Earlier, he was a key executive at Tech Mold Inc. in Tempe, Ariz.
Estrada describes Trademark as “an engineering company that does all other functions from product design to shipping to packaging.”
Automation is his mantra.
In Riverside, “we are at 20 percent now, but by the end of 2017 we will be at 90 percent with robotic work cells incorporating Wittmann and Toshiba equipment,” he said. “We project using the least amount of labor for molding, assembly and secondary operations such as laser welding.”
He added, “By the end of 2017, we will have six fully automated cells” that utilize monitoring technologies and systems from RJG Inc. and Priamus Systems Technologies AG.
For various functions, Trademark employees obtain training at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, the University of California's Riverside campus and Norco College in Norco.
“We are investing in people who want to succeed,” Estrada said. “We will have less people but more capabilities.”
Estrada plans to start a training program for apprentices to learn skills in tool building including techniques with computer-numerical-control mills, polishing and design. Estrada oversaw such a program during his tenure at Tech Mold.
Trademark revamped its tool room in Riverside installing a high-efficiency-particulate-air filtration system in the mold polishing area. In addition, a new micro abrasive processing machine from Crystal Mark Inc. of Glendale, Calif., allows Trademark to obtain different release finishes on molds.
Trademark utilizes the services of eight U.S. toolmakers and does not procure molds from outside the U.S. Trademark picks toolmakers that have access to capable design groups.
For internal part design work, Trademark employs two persons and is hiring a third designer.
Trademark in California employs 20 permanent employees who are deaf. These workers serve as material handlers, machine operators and quality inspectors, Barrera said.
Trademark has a working relationship with the Riverside campus of the California School for the Deaf. The facility was established in 1953 and has about 400 students from kindergarten through high school levels coming from 11 California counties.
Trademark plans on hiring other deaf individuals to work in the Tijuana plant and is connecting with a program in Ensenada, Mexico.
During 2017, Trademark plans to convert a Riverside white room to a Class 100,000 clean room. After the conversion, all operations in Riverside will function as Class 10,000 or Class 100,000 spaces.
In another development, Trademark is contemplating the early 2017 establishment of a technology center in Riverside for liquid-silicone-rubber processing. Plans call for setting up a separate physical location for commercial LSR processing by the end of 2017.
In the Riverside facility, Trademark employs 226 of whom 147 are in permanent positions, operates injection molding machines of 5-500 tons and occupies 100,000 square feet on 5.5 acres. Medical device components account for about 85 percent of Trademark's business.