Pioneer Plastics Inc., a custom and proprietary injection molder in Dixon, Ky., has expanded its fleet of presses both in number and size.
Two new LS Mtron machines — a 310-ton electric and a 1,200-ton hybrid — give the company 25 presses. The additions will fill out a range of equipment that begins at 75 tons for its smallest press.
"The 1,200-ton expanded our range — our largest before was 880 tons — and the other helps free up space among our midrange presses," marketing director Jonathan Caron said Oct. 27 by phone.
The 310-ton WIZ-E Series is a state-of-the-art press that will be used for existing products and help cut lead times during busier months, he said.
Pioneer Plastics President Eddie Knapp stressed the importance of the biggest machine.
"We've taken on larger jobs in recent months and saw the need to expand our capabilities," he said in a news release. "This will also allow us to take on projects that we previously would've had to send to other companies."
The presses fit within Pioneer's 100,000-square-foot plant and the company won't need to expand its staff of 80 right away, Caron said. However, some new hires might be needed once the molds come in for Pioneer's latest projects, he added.
The Knapp family bought Pioneer in 1986. The company's proprietary products include containers for the food-packaging industry, display cases, interlocking grids and cord grips. It does custom molding for companies in the appliance, closures and containers, packaging and electronics/electrical markets.
Pioneer has estimated annual sales of $9.5 million. Pioneer ranked No. 366 in Plastics News' most recent survey of North American injection molders, with estimated sales of $9.5 million.
"We should have a jump next year when these new projects are up and running," Caron noted.