All injection molding companies replace machines, often when they simply wear out. But Plastek Industries Inc. has embarked on a five-year plan to replace hydraulic injection presses with energy-efficient all-electric and hybrid machines.
That type of scheduled replacement will reduce Plastek's carbon footprint, an important goal for its big customers, among them Fortune 500 majors like Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever, Revlon Inc. and Church & Dwight Co. Inc. Plastek specializes in personal care products such as deodorant sticks, caps, cosmetic containers and other thin-wall parts.
And beyond the scheduled replacement plan, the company will buy new energy-efficient injection molding machines as needed to mold for new business.
So this month, Best Practices takes you to the plastics hotbed of Erie, Pa., the headquarters city for Plastek Industries. To kick off 2020, let's look at Plastek's machinery replacement program, and get a 2020 look at the circular economy in action.
Last year, Plastek installed 23 replacement machines at its three U.S. plants: two in Erie and one in Hamlet, N.C. Of the total, 15 are all-electric presses and eight are hybrids.
Machine brands include Sumitomo Demag, Milacron Roboshot and Fanuc.
Plastek runs more than 400 injection molding machines companywide, including a plant in Querétaro, Mexico.