Canadian Plastics

Establishing itself

Who says Canadian companies don't promote themselves? Bruce Borstmayer called this magazine's editorial staff to tell us he was out there. His company, Qualicase, while still in the formative stages o...

June 1, 2000   Canadian Plastics



Who says Canadian companies don’t promote themselves? Bruce Borstmayer called this magazine’s editorial staff to tell us he was out there. His company, Qualicase, while still in the formative stages of establishing its injection-molding customer base, has passed the critical five-year mark in the business and has recently taken on some significant new contracts. The feat is even more commendable given the changing dynamics of the Calgary-area injection molding landscape.

“I know a lot of people who used to be employed by Tri-Quest and SPM Dynacast,” Borstmayer says, referring to the two long-time telecommunication molding operations who pulled out of Calgary last year. As a result, much of the telecommunications molding that was outsourced by the two Tier Ones has disappeared from the area. The lesson has not been lost on Borstmayer, who says he is determined not to put all his eggs in one basket and intends to have a diverse customer base.

Borstmayer recently purchased a new 143-ton Sumitomo. The machine is being used , in part, to fulfill a new contract for a clear polycarbonate lens going on an electronic beacon. Borstmayer says he also use the Sumitumo to mold test tubes from polypropylene, a new order that was initiated by an e-mail inquiry.

The company has two other machines, a 50-ton Boy, which is used to mold small precision parts such as bushings and gears made from glass-filled nylon, and a 275-ton Engel, which is used mostly for molding a variety of wheel and lug nut spacers.

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Borstmayer founded Qualicase in 1986 as a distributor of industrial plastic and metal cases which are used for the storage of tools and other heavy equipment in the oilpatch. He still runs this side of business as a compliment to his injection molding operation. His entry into the injection molding market five years ago was spurred by an ad for a used 175-ton IMCO machine.

“I knew the plastic cases I sold were injection molded, so I went in to take a look at the machine,” he says. “I watched the guy run some parts and figured if he could do I could too.”

He purchased the machine and the company, securing a number of contracts in the process. When he tried to mold a lug-nut spacer from nylon 66, he discovered the press lacked sufficient clamping force to keep the mold closed. At that point he sold the IMCO and purchased the present Engel machine.

With only one other person to help him run parts, Borstmayer says his biggest challenge is finding the time to market his company.

“In Calgary there’s not a lot of high volume work these days, so I take whatever I can get. I have the capacity. I can run parts very cost competitively with anyone.”CPL


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