Brea, Calif. — M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. continues to grow its presence.
The firm added an Engel 55 ton press to replace an older model and Engel 120 ton machine to mirror the capabilities of its largest customer. It also secured a 1,500-square-foot building for additional storage that sits on the same campus of its headquarters in Brea, which employs about 30 people.
This comes in addition to a slew of other equipment investments, including an overhead crane, a five-gallon pump, a pallet charger that feeds tools to a five-axis Yasda YBM Vi40 precision computer numerical control machining center, and upgraded software and IT systems.
M.R. Mold invested about $800,000 total. Marketing Director Geri Anderson said the investments have one thing in common.
"We're trying to keep up with today's technology and improve cycle time for our customers," Anderson said. "The Yasda we have can save the customer about one third on delivery times. They all want it faster and quicker, so we're trying to get that done for them in the best way possible."
The firm also reached an agreement with KraussMaffei, which will house a 55 ton LSR machine on its floor and in return the company can use it as a training center for LSR.
Anderson stressed that M.R. Mold isn't entering the molding business.
"We still will do short runs and help customers out whenever they don't have press times," she said. "But our machines are basically for testing and sampling, doing first articles and tests for customers. That is the focus of that technical center."
And with still plenty of time in 2017, the firm looks to remain busy. Anderson said she hopes to have a new website launched by NPE, which is scheduled for May 7-11, 2018, and expects business to continue to snowball with 'significant work' coming down the line as the year goes on. The maker of silicone molds does most of its business in the medical area, with annual sales of about $5 million.
Like many in the rubber industry, M.R. Mold is trying to develop new talent. Anderson said the firm is looking to bring in an additional apprentice or two within the next year.
"We hope that everything we've put in place will pay off for our customers in terms of time and pricing," she said.
"M.R. Mold will continue to grow in whatever direction we're being driven. If I have a good customer who tells me 'we need you to do it,' we'll definitely investigate and go down that road. That's how we came from one molding machine to seven. It's all customer driven."