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Medical market helps California molder expand

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. — Custom injection molder Trademark Plastics Inc. is experiencing significant growth in demands from its medical customers.

“Trademark is looking at expansion out of this facility in 2015,” said Chief Operating Officer David Carty. Additional details about an expansion were unavailable.

Components for medical devices account for about 80 percent of the business with consumer goods representing the remainder.

In October, John Taylor joined Trademark as vice president of operations. Previously, he was with the Irvine, Calif., facility of B. Braun Medical Inc. for 26 years, most recently as manager of component manufacturing. B. Braun is a Trademark customer.

In August, Trademark and mold builder Quali-Tech Engineering Inc. of Santa Ana, Calif., reached an agreement under which Quali-Tech will give priority to fulfillment of mold making orders for projects of Trademark customers. Terms were not disclosed. The firms maintain separate ownership.

During 2014, Trademark acquired seven new injection molding machines as it transitions to a shop using only all-electric presses. Most recently, Trademark installed two new 200-ton all-electric Toshiba EC200SXV50 presses in its general molding white room.

Trademark has ordered a new 390-ton all-electric Toshiba EC390SXB50 press and expects to have it onsite in early 2015.

Trademark improved efficiency by linking two clean rooms through an additional space with equipment for first-article inspections. Previously, the inspectors needed to gown-up when entering one of the rooms and gown-down in going to use the first-article equipment. That distraction was eliminated.

The Class 10,000 room has 14 presses and occupies 20,000 square feet. The Class 100,000 room has 13 presses and occupies 24,000 square feet.

Trademark’s 46 injection molding machines of 5-500 tons — 26 electric and 20 hydraulics — include 17 Toyos, 13 JSWs, seven Toshibas, three Huskies and six others. Wittmann robots operate on about one-half of the presses; a Scara robot is on one of the Toshibas.

Trademark began use of an ultrasonic bath cleaner from Blue Wave Ultrasonics of Davenport, Iowa, in November, a portable dry ice blasting system from Cold Jet LLC of Loveland, Ohio, in May for mold cleaning and a 5-ton top riding dual girder crane from CraneVeyor Corp. of South El Monte, Calif., in late 2013 for mold positioning.

For the quality function, Trademark acquired a SmartScope Flash 302 bench top multisensory measurement system from Optical Gaging Products Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., and put it into service in December 2013.

Alfredo Fierro, Trademark director of project engineering, is a RJG Inc.-certified Master Molder II and is working toward becoming qualified as a trainer. He has more than 20 years of experience in injection molding with the last 10 years at Trademark.

Fred Cervantes is another Master Molder II, and two others hold Master Molder I credentials.

For Trademark’s 12 technicians, “my goal is to get all certified as Master Molder I or above,” Fierro said.

Jerry Carty founded Trademark in 20,000 square feet in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in 1989. The business occupied 60,000 square feet prior to its 2002 move of 21 miles to Riverside and 100,000 square feet on 5.5 acres. He died in 2005, but his legacy lives on.

Carty’s widow, Carolyn, is president; daughter Erin Carty is CEO; and daughter Kristin Carty is corporate secretary. Erin’s husband, David Carty, is COO.

Trademark employs 210 of whom 125 are in permanent positions.

Among Trademark employees, two started as “broom pushers,” Erin Carty said in an interview. Now, one of them is certified as a Master Molder I, and the other is plant manager.

Trademark withholds sales details but projects a 2014 gain of 10 percent vs. its 2013 results.

Trademark, in conjunction with Toshiba Machine Co. America, held a Nov. 12 technical symposium and plant tour at its facility in Riverside.

Mold builder, Trademark ink deal

Trademark Plastics has worked closely with mold builder Quali-Tech Engineering Inc. for several years. John Hong is Quali-Tech president.

The August priority agreement between Trademark and Quali-Tech will benefit both firms, but it is not intended to impact Quali-Tech’s relationships with other customers.

Quali-Tech employs 16 including seven mold makers, occupies 20,000 square feet in Santa Ana, Calif., and completes about 50 molds yearly.

Quali-Tech expects fourth quarter delivery of a new five-axis UMC-750 computer numerical control machining center from Haas Automotion Inc. of Oxnard, Calif., and a three-dimensional laser engraving machine from Gromax Enterprises Corp. of Irvine, Calif.

Other in-house Quali-Tech capabilities include sinker and wire electronic discharge machines, material polishing, micro laser welding, coordinate measuring machine and laser micrometer.