Pelco Tool & Mold Inc. recently spent about $2 million to upgrade its operation in Glendale Heights, Ill.
"We're swamped," said Pelco co-owner and vice president Roger Wittersheim in a phone interview. "It hasn't been this busy since 2007."
Pelco has added 9 new Hurco machining centers, a five-axis machining center and a Roku-Roku high-speed machining center in an upgrading program completed in the past few months. New lathes also were added recently. Machinery in the tool shop is highly automated with tool changers and robots.
Wittersheim said in addition to more advanced technology, the equipment additions should increase production capacity and cut down on delivery time.
"We eliminated the single-machine-for-one-operator setup," he explained. "Now one operator can run three machines. Our opinion is to 'automate or liquidate.'"
Pelco employs 39 in its 21,000-square-foot facility.
Pelco specializes in high-cavitation, complex injection molds for caps, closures and other packaging components. Wittersheim said the company builds stack molds with up to 96 cavities in a two-level configuration. Unscrewing stack molds are one of its specialties.
Wittersheim and two partners, Rob Suva and Dick Truhlar, bought Pelco in 1991.
A cooperation agreement with Dutch tool builder Brink Group is still in effect a few years after Pelco and Brink formalized the deal. Pelco has been servicing Brink molds in North America since the firms made their arrangement.