Windsor, Conn. — Burteck LLC is getting ready to break into liquid silicone rubber.
The firm has installed an Engel LSR molding work cell, complete with a Graco pumping station that can handle 5- and 55-gallon drums at its technical center and headquarters in Windsor.
The investments have led to it develop more than a dozen LSR molds in the last year. Program Manager John Eastham said LSR tool building likely will become a business of focus for Burtech going forward. The firm plans to feature an Engel 60-ton machine at NPE2018 (Booth S30045) in May, running a two-component thermoplastic/LSR overmold.
"All of our projects have been done with existing customers," Eastham said of the LSR business. "We're viewing NPE as our official launch of LSR tool building as an offering. We feel at this point we've done enough projects, seen enough run time on the tools we have built and have the work cell in place to test the tools that we do build. We feel very confident that we're ready to do this."
While most of Burteck's business still is focused on the thermoplastic elastomer side, Eastham said the firm has been building up its LSR capabilities to the point where it feels confident about its ability to both construct and test the mold.
The perfect opportunity came when Burteck was approached by an existing client that needed a three-mold package with different sized parts for LSR and was seeking a local option. At the time, Burteck had not built an LSR mold, but Eastham brought experience with the material from other companies he worked with.
And with the customer ready to provide support thanks to an already-established relationship, Burteck seized the opportunity.
"It seemed like the best time to jump in," Eastham said. "We had an existing customer who was willing to work with us, so we did it. The results were very good. It gave all of us here confidence that the craftmanship of our tool build would meet the LSR test. We used our same design flow to build the LSR mold. We have a lot of customers who we build thermoplastic tools for who need both."
Burteck didn't want to fully jump in until it could test the mold, hence the aforementioned investments to its technical center. It has now built molds for about seven different customers and is ready to showcase its capabilities.
"We're confident once our customer gets the mold, it's going to perform to their expectations," Eastham said.