Custom molder D&M Plastics LLC is upgrading its press fleet with the addition of two small injection molding machines.
The Burlington, Ill., company recently installed a new Sodick press and was expecting delivery of an Arburg vertical press in early April.
D&M President and CEO Chip Owen said the 110-ton Sodick injection press is tackling a difficult job making a small electronics switch case from liquid crystal polymer. The 34-ton Arburg is capable of insert molding electronic parts for an undisclosed customer.
Owen told Plastics News in a phone interview that the Sodick replaces a conventional injection press that had difficulty making the part in a 16-cavity tool. Part of the difficulty was the high additive loading level in the LCP that made processing problematic.
"For this [highly loaded] resin, a two-cavity mold is the norm for processing, or at most a four-cavity mold," Owen explained.
"We mold a lot of LCP but the resins usually have less additives in them," he added.
Owen said D&M chose the Sodick technology because it precisely controls molding conditions, especially shot size. The 1.57-gram, thin-wall LCP part is small — less than an inch on each side — and is geometrically challenging, he noted.
D&M also recently hired a new marketing and sales team leader. Peter Maggos has about two decades of experience in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, most recently as president of National Bolt and Nut Corp. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois.
Maggos thinks recent government and tax incentives have reinvigorated U.S. manufacturing and that D&M's investment in technology and personnel make it poised for strong growth.
"It's an exciting time to be at such a nimble organization," Maggos said in an news release announcing his hiring.
D&M has been in business for more than 40 years. It specializes in tight-tolerance precision parts for medical and electronic markets. It claims it can achieve an external defect rate of 17 parts per million, which D&M says is 10 times lower than average for its kind of work.