Citing an increase in on-shoring work and a need for multiple services, custom molder Sussex IM Inc. recently installed its largest injection molding machine, a 955-ton KrausMaffei press.
“A number of customers wanted higher cavitation or the ability to make larger parts, so there was a need for a higher tonnage press, said Keith Everson, president of the Sussex, Wis.-based company, in a phone interview.
Sussex IM's largest press had been 725 tons. It installed the large format KrausMaffei MX 850-8100 in December, and said it offers fast cycles, minimal mold wear, best melt quality, maximum platen parallelism and low production costs.
Everson said the machine's versatility allows it to be used in all of the markets it currently serves, ranging from cosmetics and medical to sporting goods. Sussex IM has about 450 employees and 67 injection molding presses, ranging from 25 to 955 tons.
He said the use of newer machinery and more automation is helping the company capture work that is coming back to the United States from China and Mexico.
“On-shoring helps us broaden our breadth of products,” he said.
The new press was installed in its main 127,000 square foot facility. The company also opened a new 87,000 square foot building two miles away in February to do fulfillment work, some light manufacturing and provide warehouse space.
Everson said that being able to fulfill customers' orders directly has been a big selling point to draw work that is done overseas.
“We are making the product to a semi-finished or finished state and literally shipping it right to the store, taking a lot of the middle people out,” he said.
Everson said the company generates about $70 million in sales, and he expects them to grow 25 percent this year. Among its proprietary brands are the Mr. Lid premium storage containers.
The company started in 1977 and was later part of Rexam plc. It became Sussex IM in 2010 after a management buyout.