Manufacturers' representative Turner Group Inc. has formed an independent technologies division in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Laura Douglas and John Ward announced creation of Turner Technologies Division on Aug. 2 with an expectation of potentially impacting the status quo for U.S. plastics processors.
Douglas is CEO and president of both TGI and the division, and Ward is the division's chief operating officer and vice president. Through April 2017, Ward was vice president of sales and marketing for Arburg Inc. in Rocky Hill, Conn.
Geographically, Turner Technologies operates within TGI's territory in the West covering 11 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and Mexican maquiladora operations near California and Arizona.
Turner Technologies aims to assist the plastics industry's evolution into the modern era of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing processes, Ward said. “We will provide a platform to expand this focus holistically to other interactive components of the manufacturing process.”
Ward said that TGI recognized the escalating costs of minimum wages would negatively affect manufacturing in the United States and its ability to be globally competitive.
“TGI identified the need for the adoption of smart manufacturing processes and disruptive technologies in order to compete and remain economically viable,” he said. “We can offer an affordable modular approach even for a small factory.”
Turner Technologies initially represents smart logistic technology from montratec GmbH of Niedereschach, Germany, and current TGI client Synventive Molding Solutions Inc. of Peabody, Mass.
The montratec team offers a highly flexible montrac-brand mono-rail system with autonomous-driving shuttles primarily for material control between production systems without human intervention.
Originating in 1996, the system was developed to facilitate the automation of production for a leading Swiss luxury watch manufacturer.
More than 2,000 systems exist although very few serve plastics industry players.
In comparison to traditional conveyor belts, the aluminum monorails can be adapted to spatial conditions.
“Digital technologies, such as robots, collaborative robots, intelligent modular transport and logistic systems can complete complex tasks and deliver better cost efficiencies,” Ward said.
Fifth-generation-family-owned Schmid Group of Freudenstadt, Germany, recently spun off the business operating now as montratec. The newly named entity is at the same Niedereschach location as when the company was known as Schmid Technology System GmbH.
All employees, equipment and intellectual property rights as well as the research and development center in Gerlafingen, Switzerland, have moved from Schmid locations to montratec facilities.
In 2015, TGI began representing the hot runner systems and components of Synventive, a subsidiary of Barnes Group Inc. of Bristol, Conn.
“We plan to help Synventive penetrate the plastics industry in North America,” Ward said.
“Manufacturers need an increasing level of production efficiency” through automation and self-optimizing processes, Ward said. “Synventive's automatic hot runner balancing offers real closed-loop control of the melt independently at each gate for reliable, stable and automated ‘lights out' production.”
Seattle-based TGI employs nine and is active at the heart of smart manufacturing with its current regional representations of Arburg injection molding machines and Sepro America Inc. and Conair Group auxiliary systems. TGI also represents American Kuhne Inc., Dynamic Conveyor Corp., Reiloy USA and Trexel Inc.
Douglas said thoughts about TGI advancing the availability of “smart manufacturing” concepts to plastics processors surfaced internally during the K 2016 trade show Oct. 19-26 in Düsseldorf, Germany. “No one was helping customers get there,” she said.
TGI legally formed the Turner Technologies Division on July 1.