Custom molder makes the grade with NHL
If you want the business, you have to go out and get it, goes an old truism. Automatic Plastics Inc. (Toronto) has taken the advice to heart and seen its sales approximately double since 1996.At that ...
If you want the business, you have to go out and get it, goes an old truism. Automatic Plastics Inc. (Toronto) has taken the advice to heart and seen its sales approximately double since 1996.
At that time, Harry Snowden purchased Automatic from Ed LeGresley, who had founded the company in 1979. Snowden hired permanent sales staff, took on more automotive and electronics molding and has begun to offer customers secondary services such as assembly. As a result of the new and anticipated business, Automatic added 3000 sq. ft. of floor space last May and purchased a new 300 ton Kawaguchi, to give it a total of 10 injection molding machines. The machines, a mix of Kawaguchis and Engels, range from 25 to 300 tons, some of which are run across three shifts. The company plans on buying a new machine in the range of 140 to 150 tons later this year.
According to sales manager Scott Snowden, one significant new piece of business for the company has been a contract to mold a skate blade holder, which is being marketed to skate manufacturers such as Graf, Easton, CCM, K2 and Flight by Almanac Marketing Services (Ajax, Ont.) .
The blade holder, which is molded from Bayer Nylon 6, grade BC 402, features a new design and is going head-to-head against another style of skate holder made of a different grade of nylon. Currently, 96 NHL players are using the skate holder molded by Automatic. Snowden says the holder is catching on with NHL players because it holds a longer blade, which translates to more speed, and the blade is easier to replace when it gets worn. Players also like the blade holder’s increased flexibility, Snowden says.
Snowden estimates the company will mold about 100,000 pairs of the skate blade holder this year. There are 13 different sizes of the blade holder, each of which are molded in a separate two-cavity mold comprising one pair. Automatic is assembling the blade into the holder before shipping at the customer’s request.
The company has an in-house tool room, where it mainly makes smaller molds from core and cavity inserts assembled on multiple mold bases. Since it was founded, Automatic has built over 600 custom molds for everything from electronic gears to medical devices to automotive components. It is planning on obtaining ISO 9002 registration by the end of this year.