Throughout their five-year relationship, ENGEL has provided West Des Moines, Iowa custom molder i2-tech with complete turnkey solutions to fit their ever-changing needs. When it came to an increased demand for large-tonnage capabilities, i2-tech tapped ENGEL for their largest machine yet.
Addition of 4400-ton ENGEL opens avenues to new business
ENGEL’s ‘turnkey approach’ a winning formula for i2-tech
“For a long time, many of our customers had been asking us to quote business in the 4,000-plus press range. And we’ve had to no-quote those opportunities,” explained i2-tech President Darin Endecott. “In addition, we needed redundancy for our 3,300-ton press for disaster recovery purposes.”
Largest machine yet
In October 2020, i2-tech took the first steps to meeting that demand by ordering 4,400 US ton ENGEL duo. The machine marks the largest i2-tech has ever ordered. “The 4,400-ton ENGEL will broaden our capabilities to meet the wide demands and be a one-stop shop, especially for the big OEMs,” Endecott noted. “It will further open up opportunities to us, especially in the agricultural and construction industries.”
With the new large-tonnage ENGEL, i2-tech can add parts such as sun tops on recreational vehicles as well as fuel and hydraulic tanks to its offerings.
“Build it and they will come,” Endecott added.
“It was clear that the ENGEL duo 4,400 US ton hydraulic machine with an integrated viper 120 linear robot was the perfect complement to i2-tech’s machine fleet and production capability expansion,” stated ENGEL’S Chief Operations Officer Vanessa Malena. “After comprehensive discussions between i2-tech, Mirocke Sales, ENGEL’s sales representation in that area, and ENGEL, the equipment package was specified to meet their exact needs.”
Tremendous growth in 2020
The addition is part of a larger expansion that includes four additional ENGEL machines ranging from 340 to 1,900 US tons, as well as increasing their production and warehousing space by 75,000 square feet, and nearly doubling their workforce.
“2020 was a good year for us,” Endecott said. “We were asked to remain open as we made medical devices as well as components for the agricultural and construction markets.”
After two competitors who served common customers closed their business, i2-tech experienced a surge in orders.
“The expansion was paramount due to the sudden jump in business,” Endecott explained. “Over the last year, we saw a 40% increase in sales.”
ENGEL’s ‘turnkey approach’ unique
Throughout their five-year relationship, i2-tech has been impressed with ENGEL’s unique approach to injection molding machinery sales.
“What’s interesting and unique is ENGEL’s turnkey approach to sales,” stated Endecott. “They’re not just selling us the machine and robot, but also connecting us with turnkey solutions that include prepping, conveying, coloring, regrinding and reprocessing. It provides us with ways to do more with what we have.”
“As for the machines themselves, the tie-bar-less machines have also improved our capabilities and flexibility with the number of tools we manage for our customers,” he added. “What we like about the ENGEL duo in particular is it’s a super-fast two-platen machine, provides us with excellent platen parallelism, and the tie bars do not make contact with the moving platen — providing excellent mold protection and zero friction. And there are countless combinations of machine options available to meet our specific needs.”
Endecott also cited ENGEL’s support before and after the sale as key ingredients in their relationship.
“ENGEL’s responsiveness to our specific needs through a close relationship with their sales representatives is highly beneficial. And after the sale, ENGEL does an amazing job of being here when we need them,” Endecott said.
ENGEL Machinery is Supplier of the Year 2021 for i2-tech
Being named the 2021 Supplier of the Year confirms the great collaboration between ENGEL and i2-tech. ENGEL received this award at last year’s supplier day conference, thanks to the hard work of Mike Mirocke and Dusty Meyer, ENGEL’s representatives in the Central US region.
Founded in 1960, i2-tech has been under the current ownership since 2003. The custom injection molder has over 40 presses, ranging from 55 to 4,400 US tons. The company also offers a wide range of additional services including assembly, vibratory and ultrasonic welding, hot stamping, gas assist and insert molding. Industries served include construction, agricultural, medical and automotive.