Open for business
With 10 injection molding machines, ranging from 40 to 450 tons of clamping force, housed in a modern 28,500 sq. ft. facility, Mien Plastics Ltd. (Ajax, Ont.) would appear to be anything but an inject...
With 10 injection molding machines, ranging from 40 to 450 tons of clamping force, housed in a modern 28,500 sq. ft. facility, Mien Plastics Ltd. (Ajax, Ont.) would appear to be anything but an injection molding start-up operation. Indeed “start-up”, in this case, is a bit misleading. The company is a new player in the North American injection molding market. However, it has been intimately involved with the injection molding business for the past 11 years as a designer and maker of molds under the name of Vinor Manufacturing. It has also developed its own line of proprietary products which currently consumes nearly all of its molding capacity.
Mien developed its proprietary line of tomato clips, trusses, J-hooks and other products for the greenhouse agricultural market about three years ago. Initially, Vinor made the molds for the products, while the molding was farmed out. With a boom in the greenhouse vegetable market, especially in Ontario, the business imperative for bringing the molding in-house became obvious.
“We bought the machines to mold our own products and also to try out molds for our customers,” explains vice-president Mike Woo. “Now we want to take it to the next level — we want to become a key strategic resource and supplier of high quality products to OEMs in a number of specialized markets.”
Its years of experience as a supplier of injection molds has given the company a solid grounding in what it takes to succeed as an injection molder, and also shaped its initial strategic business decisions. For example it chose to buy used Husky and Battenfeld ? machines, which in turn freed up extra capital for the purchase of a 40-ton Berg central chilling system. The chilling system will accommodate future expansion and play a vital role in keeping cycle times to a minimum, notes Mike Woo.
One of the company’s Husky machines is a two-stage machine capable of thinwall molding. The machine is used to mold tomato clips in a 64-cavity mold, built in Mien’s tool room, with a cycle time of 6.2 seconds — a rate which exceeds the capabilities of its competition by a factor of four.
Mien moved into its new facility last May and already has plans to purchase three new machines, according to president Neil Woo. A 90- and 170-ton Mitsubishi, and a 25-ton Battenfeld, will be used for capacity to serve anticipated new business.