Canadian Plastics

Moldmaking Report (September 01, 2004)

Canadian Plastics   



INTERNATIONAL TOOLING LTD. REUNION BRINGS WINDSOR MOLDMAKING COMMUNITY TOGETHER...

INTERNATIONAL TOOLING LTD. REUNION BRINGS WINDSOR MOLDMAKING COMMUNITY TOGETHER

A reunion of former International Tooling Ltd. (ITL) employees held this July in Windsor provided evidence of the company’s historic role in turning Windsor into one of the most important moldmaking centres in North America. Founded by Pete Hedgewick in the 1960s, ITL closed its doors in 1987.

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MOLDMAKER VENTURES INTO MOLDING; OFF-SHORE ALLIANCE

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A U.S.-based moldmaker, Pleasant Precision Inc. (Kenton, OH), is expanding its business focus once more with several strategic moves it believes will pay dividends in the near future. The company has recently opened a new division, NeoMold, dedicated to clean room molding of precision parts for the medical industry. It has also formed a joint venture with Fleetguard Division of Cummins’ India-based operations. Fleetguard India and Pleasant Precision each have a 50% stake in the joint venture, Filtrum Tools & Components.

According to Pleasant Precision Tooling president Ron Pleasant, the joint venture was launched four years ago, developing out of contacts with its longstanding North American customer, Fleetguard Divison of Cummins. The j.v. calls for the two companies to cooperate in a number of areas, including training of personnel, mold design and the manufacturing of tools and molds. Pleasant says the partners are in the first stages of setting up toolmaking operations in India. The shop will be modeled on the lean manufacturing principles used at Pleasant Precision’s plant in Kenton. While the j.v. is just reaching the fruition stage, Pleasant says he has already recouped his investment by importing low-cost mold designs from his partner.

“We have a personal relationship with our partner that goes beyond just business,” he reports. “Yet certainly, for a minimal investment, the joint venture gives us a number of benefits.”

In a best-case scenario, Pleasant says his company could import 30 to 40% of its mold designs from India. The venture also gives the moldmaker the option of having some molds made in India, if a customer desires to source a tooling project to a low-cost off-shore manufacturer.

NeoMold, the company’s new molding division, has sprung from its relationship with a specific customer in the medical industry. The venture follows a previous foray into injection molding, which the company sold off a number of years ago.

“We have no interest in doing general molding,” says Pleasant. “This time we’re going to stay focused on ultra-precision parts.”

The company has purchased five injection molding machines, including one new hybrid Sodick for ultra-fast, high-precision molding. The molding operation will be ramped up to full production over the next six to twelve months.

Pleasant is also president of Modular Mold Systems, which supplies a modular mold insert system, Round Mate.

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