Strong demand for Fairway Injection Molding Systems' (Walnut, CA) advanced technology, high-volume production molds has driven Fairway to make investments of $1 million annually over the past three years in production mold manufacturing machinery and injection molding machines.
"We've seen tremendous growth opportunities over the past three years," states Gregg Van Bogget, director of sales and marketing for Fairway. "To take advantage of these opportunities, Fairway has not only invested in machinery and equipment but in management, engineering and sales personnel as well to take the company where it needs to go."
Fairway's growth strategy has also consisted of doing business with the right clients, which is critical to developing a client base of long-term, strategically profitable companies whose business models align with that of Fairway's. "We've put the company in a great position strategically over the past three years, growing 20 percent each year with the type of clients with which we can realize mutual benefits," Van Bogget says. The company currently has 75 employees that are cross-trained in all phases of mold manufacturing.
To be accessible to its clients, Fairway has hired a new Technical Sales Engineer for the Eastern U.S., based in Cincinnati. "We take seriously the responsibility we have as a West Coast company to meet the need to be in front of our clients on the East Coast to provide personal, one-on-one rapid response service," states Van Bogget.
In addition to clients throughout North America, Fairway has developed customers in Latin America. To provide this same type of service to Fairway's clients in Latin America, the company has hired a Technical Sales Engineer to cover that region. "We're currently producing a brochure in Spanish to accommodate our sales engineer's efforts in Mexico and Central America," Van Bogget says. "In addition to our Latin American Sales Engineer, a high percentage of our team speaks both fluent English and Spanish. Thus, we are able to provide additional support to both our domestic and Latin American clients."
Equipment purchases include CNC machining centers, EDM, and injection molding machines to expand capacity in mold production and greater capabilities in mold qualification and validation. "We try to identify constraints in our capacity and to maximize each machine, which means we can be more efficient," explains Van Bogget. "For example, in our wire EDM department, we had eight machines, but three of those were no longer used for finishing, only roughing. We engaged with Mitsubishi and purchased two new wire machines that replaced three older ones-all the while improving efficiency by 20 percent."
Molding presses have become an absolute necessity for Fairway as its plans call for greater capabilities to perform mold qualification. Fairway operates four injection molding machines, including the latest, a Husky Hylectric 720-ton high-speed packaging machine to accommodate customers' larger molds. The other injection molding machines include a 105-ton, a 250-ton and a 490-ton 2-shot press. Fairway now has the capability to sample and qualify a wide range of mold types including Tandem and Stack molds, multi-shot molds, as well as single face molds and molds that accommodate in-mold closing and in-mold labeling (IML) for the company's packaging customers.
"Without these machines to enable us to validate molds and get approvals, we would be extremely limited in our customer service," says Van Bogget.
"The Husky machine was necessary. One of our largest clients came to us and said 'you need to be able to test our molds or we can't work with you.' So when we showed them the purchase order for the Husky machine, they showed us their purchase order for the next mold package. That machine is now booked through the end of the year. We're really excited about this press."
Fairway's clients' molds are growing in size, notes Van Bogget. "There's only one single-face mold going into the Husky press for the rest of the year with the rest being stack molds."
Since 1977, Fairway Injection Molding Systems has been a premier designer and manufacturer of precision, high-volume injection molds for the packaging (caps/closures), medical and personal care markets. With Fairway's advanced engineering expertise in both mold technology and injection molding process technology, Fairway provides clients in chosen markets with innovative molds that provide optimum cycle times for increased productivity and reduced costs to manufacture. All Fairway-built molds come with component interchangeability with no hand-fitting required. Fairway can meet any of its clients mold requirements from R&D single-cavity "pilot" molds to 192-cavity high-volume production molds.
Fairway will be exhibiting at NPE2015, March 23-27, Orlando, FL, Booth #27042.