Eyeing an added boost to its capacity, Foreman Tool & Mold Corp. started looking for a machine supplier for its two-shot molding business. They found all of the right ingredients in KraussMaffei.
"The first reason we chose KraussMaffei was their reputation of excellent machine design and high standards of quality," Piotr Kedzierski, Foreman's vice president, said. "The second reason was they offer a line of machines that specialize in two-shot molding."
This year, the St. Charles, Ill.-based company ordered two new 300-metric-ton CX machines with LRX 150 robots from the Florence, Ky.-based machinery manufacturer.
According to Kedzierski, one is in service and the second unit is scheduled to arrive on Jan. 15.
"We increased the number of machines from 22 to 24," he said.
Both new machines are in a high-tonnage range — more than 200 tonnes — giving the company 11 machines in the range above 200 tonnes in that size range.
Overall, Foreman's injection molding machines range from 28-500 tonnes. It has five machines for two-component molding. Among the company's machines are five KraussMaffei CX series machines, ranging from 80-300 metric tonnes.
Foreman Tool & Mold was founded in 1984 by Rick and Kathy Foreman. Today, it has 63,000 square feet of production space in two facilities where it specializes in custom injection molding and precision tool building, primarily using the two-shot process, for the automotive, industrial and home care industries.
The company also specializes in complex two-component tooling and molding. This includes rotary block, rotary plate and pick and place. It is now a complete tool and die operation and injection molding operation.
"Our strength is in combining both toolmaking and production molding under same roof," Kedzierski said. "This structure warrants compliance to today's high-precision requirements of automotive components related to new navigating features as well as traditional two-component molding, which always demanded high-precision tool workmanship, design creativity and molding quality."
The company has developed a long relationship with KraussMaffei, and Kedzierski pointed out that the primary reasons for that connection, dating back to 2000, include the machines' reliability, performance, reasonable pricing and "the most user-friendly machine control in the industry."
"One of the biggest advantages for us is how clearly the machine communicates with the processing technician," he said. "It is easy to understand what the machine is doing at any moment by simply looking at the screen. And the reliability and responsiveness of the controls allow for quick setup and repeatability and give us the precision settings needed for very tight and sophisticated processing windows."
Their decision to choose a KraussMaffei robot went beyond loyalty to the brand.
"The LRX has more capabilities, is more sophisticated and is safer to operate than the others," Kedzierski said.
The added automation is expected to improve efficiency, which will help the company focus on its goals for growth in 2019.
"Foreman Tool & Mold will participate in several important automotive projects related to autonomous features in new vehicles," Kedzierski said.