Engineered Plastic Components Inc., a Grinnell, Iowa-based injection molder, has purchased its second all-electric 3,300-ton injection molding machine.
The machine, which was purchased for an undisclosed amount from JSW Plastics Machinery Inc. in the second quarter of 2017, will be delivered to EPC's 140,000-square-foot facility in Columbia, Mo. JSW is the Corona, Calif-based North American unit of Japan Steel Works Ltd.
EPC President and CEO Reza Kargarzadeh said in a March 7 email interview that the machine should be fully up and running by the end of August this year.
"EPC Columbia business has been steady and looking to grow further," he said.
The injection molding machine will be used to mold instrument panels for the automotive industry as well as washer and dryer tub parts for the appliance market, using materials such as polypropylene and polycarbonate/ABS.
A six-axis robot will also be utilized with the machine for "prepping and trimming of the molded products," Kargarzadeh said.
The Columbia facility employs approximately 140 workers, but Kargarzadeh said the company will evaluate its needs and hire additional workers once the machine is in full production.
EPC has another all-electric 3,300-ton injection molding machine from JSW Plastics Machinery at its facility in Leeds, Ala., where it runs Honda instrument panels.
"JSW has been a good equipment partner for EPC. In the last three years, EPC has purchased over 80 JSW all-electric machines ranging from 50-3,300 tons," said Kargarzadeh, adding that since 2002 EPC has spent approximately $30 million on machinery purchases from JSW.
EPC has around 350 injection molding machines at its 13 locations across North America and employs a total of 1,400 workers. In June 2017, Plastics News reported the company was closing an injection molding plant in Rantoul, Ill. The location supplied automotive components to Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s Normal, Ill., plant, which the Japanese automaker shuttered in 2016.
EPC ranks No. 48 in the annual survey of injection molders by Plastics News, with reported sales of $201 million in 2016.