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For the first time in more than a decade, plastics processing equipment supplier Milacron (Batavia, Ohio) will have a formal presence in the West Coast market in the form of its newly opened 17,000-square-foot High Impact Technical (HIT) Center in Irvine, Calif.
Featuring a showroom, training center, and warehouse, with space for machine and spare parts inventory, the structure was formerly an Alcon contact lens manufacturing facility. Moving in in December 2013, Milacron completely revamped the interior, including adding footings for a large, 15-ton overhead crane in the warehouse space.
Tom Brown, Milacron's VP sales Western North America, said that since the company closed its technical center in Anaheim, Calif. it had served the western region of the U.S. from Ohio. "We're the local manufacturer of machinery in the U.S., but we lacked a local presence on the West Coast. I can tell you because I do it every other week--it's a long way from Batavia to California."
During an open house to celebrate the center's opening, Milacron featured three operating injection molding machines in the showroom, and the plan going forward is to keep three machines of varying sizes and technologies on hand for training and mold trials. In the warehouse space, Brown said the goal would be to keep five to 10 of its Roboshot all-electric injection molding machines on hand, due to their popularity in the market.
For the open house, Milacron ran a servohydraulic toggle-style 55-ton Magna T injection molding machine, as well as a 400-ton fully electric Elektron and a 165-ton all-electric Roboshot. Brown noted that in the western region of the U.S. there are a large number of custom molders, with a "sweet spot" tonnage wise, ranging from 55 to 900 tons.
The center also features a dedicated training space with room for more than 20 people at one time, and it will support Milacron's DME mold technology business.
On Feb. 12, Milacron completed the acquisition of Industrial Machine Sales Inc. and its sister copmany Precise Plastics Machinery in Southlake, Texas. That location will serve as a HIT Center for Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and the northern border of Mexico.