"With Toshiba, we get faster cycling and better quality parts," said Falcon President Jay Bender. The company also gets greater productivity. The three new all-electrics will replace seven older models, enabling Falcon to get the same production capacity with fewer machines. "That's impressive," said Bender. "And because Toshibas are built with the same type of controller, our operators start using the machines as soon as they're installed."
With four plants in the United States and another in China, Falcon has become a leader in molding parts ranging from simple to more-complex components for the electronics, medical, automotive, agricultural and construction markets. It has also taken a leadership role helping manufacturers flesh out new product ideas, creating an Entrepreneurial Division dedicated specifically to their efforts.
The three new machines will be used for high-volume production at Falcon's molding facility in Lexington, TN, enabling it to take full advantage of the enhanced features built into ECSX all-electrics. "With the longevity of their machines, fast cutting cycles, high quality and easy-to-use controllers, it's really hard to walk away from Toshiba," said Bender.
In addition to injection molding, the company also has blow molding and thermoforming capabilities, and also operates plants in Madison, SD, and maintains a second molding facility in Brookings, Premier Source, which has 12 injection presses ranging from 55 to 400 tons. Premier Source offers prototype and digital manufacturing, product development and engineering, and automation development for the electronics, agriculture, consumer, transportation and custom machinery markets. Falcon also has another facility, Poly Cast Plastics Co. Ltd., in Suzhou, China.
The Brookings East plant is finishing up on a 60,000-square-foot expansion that was started in November 2013. The exterior was finished in January 2015, and now interior updates are being completed. The addition will almost double manufacturing space at the Brookings East facility.
Bender added that the project is a $6 to $7 million investment in the Brookings facility. "The reason for the expansion is to support the growth of our existing customers as well as add room for future business," he said. "The building was new in 2007, and we have already expanded three times."
Due to the addition of manufacturing space, the facility has purchased a new chiller system with 120-ton chilled and 540-ton cooling tower capacity. A new air compressor and material handling system have both been added to support 31 injection molding machines. The current 5- and 15-ton crane system has been extended from the existing building in the new addition.
There is currently one injection molding machine in operation in the new addition, with plans to move an additional 10 injection molding machines into the facility. In the last year, the facility purchased two new Toshiba 610 electric injection molding machines. Along with manufacturing space, the break room and quality assurance lab have both increased in size, noted Falcon's press release.