From left to right: Harold Luttmann (COO Athena), Joseph Sgro (General Manager and Partner, ZZEN), Robert Schad (CEO Athena), Victor de Zen (Owner, ZZEN)
On May 26, 2014, plastics processing machinery maker Athena Automation Ltd. broke ground for a new systems centre for machine assembly and integration. The 155,000-square-foot (14,400 m2) plant is located next to Athena’s current research and assembly facility in Vaughan, Ont.
The plant will allow Athena to ship more customized machines starting in 2016, assemble higher-tonnage machines, and showcase ‘lightsout’ plant engineering services, the company said in a statement.
Due to open in the second-quarter of 2016, the building features will include a dedicated area for mold trials and extended runs, a quality control lab with state-of-the-art inspection equipment, an office area, a cafeteria, and a fitness centre.
“The systems centre is expected to be 41 per cent more energy efficient than new industrial buildings, using geothermal cooling and heating, rooftop solar panels, and generous skylights, as well as high efficiency water chilling, resin conveying and drying systems,” the Athena statement said.
Also in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony was plastics industry pioneer Vic de Zen, owner of ZZen Group. ZZen has been retained by Athena for construction and engineering of the new centre.
Athena was founded by Robert Schad — of Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. fame — in 2008. Schad is the company’s president and CEO.
Currently Athena assembles 150 and 300 metric ton injection molding machines. The 150 and 300 ton preform systems are sold and serviced worldwide by Italian company SIPA under the XFORM brand.