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August 23, 2016
4 Min Read
Mantaline Corp. (Mantua, OH) announced the grand opening of expanded manufacturing capabilities in a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Hiram, OH. This addition—the Thermoplastic Extrusion and Injection Molding Innovation Center—will enable the company to address a new set of requirements residing within the current customer base as well as creating a platform for growth.
“This facility permits us to blend a whole new set of materials with state-of-the-art processing,” said Tom Mlinar, Vice President of Business Development. “We are pleased to offer our customers new advances in thermoplastic injection molding and thermoplastic extrusion, which will assist them as they compete in their markets.”
Located about 15 minutes from the company’s headquarters, the center is air conditioned to help keep materials and equipment moisture free. On the extrusion line, a separate drying system completely eliminates moisture from the raw materials. The first of what will be several extrusion lines is outfitted with two new state-of-the-art quality assurance digital comparators. This provides the ability to monitor product being formed by three inline extruders in real time.
Pictured front row (from left): Nancy van Ginkel, VP Finance and Diane Kruis, VP Operations. Back row (from left) Tom Mlinar, VP Business Development; Mark Trushel, President & CEO; Terry Green, Chairman of the Board; and Kyle Jackson, VP Engineering.
In an interview with PlasticsToday, President and CEO Mark Trushel explained that the company’s primary customer base includes Tier 1s and OEMS primarily in the global commercial vehicle market, especially heavy trucks, and Tier 2 suppliers to the automotive industry. Mantaline provides sealing systems for doors, windows and under-the-hood applications. Mantaline started in 1964 as a processor of rubber. “As we looked at the market, and primarily the advances in thermoplastic elastomers, we [came to] believe there are a lot of opportunities for growth there,” said Trushel.
On the spectrum of material demand for rubber and rubber-like plastics (TPE, TPV and TPO), there are applications in which rubber materials are required, Trushel explained. At the other end of the spectrum, there are thermoplastic materials for some of the small, intricate parts that provide recyclability and for color matching. “In the middle of that curve, depending on the design and customer requirements, there is a wide range in which we serve our customers with either of these materials,” Trushel said.
“We produce door or window gaskets by extrusion and injection mold corners and features for those applications, using thermoplastic materials instead of rubber. That results in savings in production cycles and in some secondary processes, such as ice and snow release, that had to be performed post-injection. But, there are materials that provide the required lubricity right in the TPE. So, we’re getting processing savings while achieving equivalent or better results. We’re staying with our core market but offering some unique solutions for cost savings that allow us to deal with a greater percentage of our customers’ requirements.”
Currently Mantaline’s new facility has two injection presses from LWB Steinl GmbH & Co. KG (Altdorf-Landshut, Germany) up and operating, with two more on order. Steinl is a rubber and elastomer injection molding machinery manufacturer. Trushel added that the there is one plastic line with three extruders. “We have commercialized parts for two customers and are in the process of commercializing parts for a third customer,” he said.
Plans call for the first extrusion line to run three shifts a day, five days a week, by early 2017. Based on the current plan, the facility will be an extrusion plant in the long term and the company will continue to add lines. “With this new facility we harness ‘best available’ technology,” explained Mlinar. “Our goal is to deliver strategic components that enhance automotive safety as well as improve the aesthetic beauty of the end product. This facility allows us to work around the clock with new capacities and capabilities and add new products to our portfolio.”
Mantaline continues to grow and expand to satisfy customer demand. The company opened a second rubber extrusion plant in July 2015 in San Antonio, Trushel told PlasticsToday, and that facility has the capacity for five lines. “The facility in Hiram could house five or six lines, as well.” The company also has a small injection molding operation and rubber compression molding facility in Monterrey, Mexico. Currently, the San Antonio plant ships parts to Indiana and Michigan; however, “long term, the industry will continue to move south,” Trushel added. Mantaline employs 170 among all its facilities.
About the Author(s)
Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."
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