M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. of Brea, Calif., is taking delivery of its seventh injection molding press as it ventures further into the world of liquid silicone rubber processing.
KraussMaffei Corp. of Florence, Ky., is installing a 55-ton two-platen hydraulic 50-180 CX-model LSR machine that was manufactured in Munich.
M.R. Mold also will allow use of its Brea site as KraussMaffei's first training facility on the West Coast, Paul Caprio, president in the U.S. and Canada for KraussMaffei, said in a phone interview.
Separately, M.R. Mold is collaborating with Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. in an LSR demonstration during the Feb. 7-9 UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim, Calif. M.R. Mold is inviting attendees to visit its Brea facility, which is a short distance from the expo.
A Wittmann Battenfeld 16.53-ton standard MicroPower machine equipped for LSR will mold a punctal plug using Silopren LSR 2030 from Momentive Performance Materials Inc. in a four-cavity tool from M.R. Mold. The small medical device is inserted into the tear duct, or puncta of an eye, to block the duct.
Momentive manufactures the material at its facility in Leverkusen, Germany, said Sharon Shatto, Momentive's Americas marketing manager for health care.
Wittmann Battenfeld offers a patented system that lets the plunger travel all the way into the split line of the mold. That creates a thin disc rather than a cold runner sprue.
“This disc has much less volume of material and cools down much faster,” Markus Klaus, Wittmann Battenfeld U.S. division manager for injection molding machines, said by email.
“This saves the customer a lot of material and reduces cycle time dramatically. Some of those medical-grade bio-absorbable materials cost up to $2,500 per pound, and most cannot be recycled.”
President Rick Finnie said M.R. Mold invested between $600,000 and $800,000 over the past year for new equipment, including two new Engel injection molding presses — a 120-ton hybrid and a 55-ton e-mac.
Other additions are a Gorbel Inc. overhead crane, a Graco Inc. five-gallon pump, a System 3R WorkPal servo robotic pallet changer that feeds tools to a five-axis Yasda YBM Vi40 precision computer-numerical-control machining center, a Lista International Corp. tool vending system via SupplyPro Inc. and tool holders.
In the near future, M.R. Mold plans to boost utility services for the new KraussMaffei, add more tool holders, update existing equipment and hire more employees, Finnie said.
M.R. Mold employs 30, has annual sales of about $5 million and also operates a 100-ton Arburg, a 70-ton Arburg Allrounder and 100-ton and 55-ton Engels.
In November, M.R. Mold leased an additional 1,500 square feet for storage and, in current space, extended its technical center capabilities. Now, M.R. Mold occupies 16,500 square feet.