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Moldmaking specialist exploits niche
May 15, 2001
2 Min Read
Experience and investment in specialized machine technology have helped Hommer Tool & Mfg. carve out a niche in round tooling components. One of its specialties are these deep, small-diameter, thin-wall bubbler core pins.
If "niches are riches," as one successful plastics entrepreneur once said, then finding a niche is increasingly important in today's competitive business environment. Hommer Tool & Mfg. Inc. (Arlington Heights, IL) determined its niche when the company was founded and incorporated in 1983, and it has proven successful ever since, says J.R. Hommer, company vp and son of founder Jim Hommer Sr.
Hommer Tool & Mfg. specializes in producing round tooling components for the injection mold industry, including core pins, sleeves, strippers, and ejectors. "We're way down the food chain, and it's certainly a niche," says Hommer. "But, it's worked out quite well for us."
Moldmakers can do the "square stuff" very well and cost effectively, explains Hommer. When it comes to making round components, Hommer has developed an expertise, and invested heavily in machine technology and methodology that make the company's services not only time-saving but cost effective as well.
"We saw a need for this specialty niche, rather than going after full moldbuilding," Hommer says. "Specialization gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace."
One of Hommer's specialties is its ability to do deep, small-diameter bubblers in thin-wall cores, such as it did for one customer that needed core pins for a 3/32-inch-diameter hole nearly 9 inches deep with a finished wall thickness of .030 inch. Hommer used a sonar device that measures to a thousandth of an inch to measure the wall thickness of the bubbler core pin, allowing the company to finish the outside of the core while keeping it concentric to the inside hole.
Hommer Tool services many of the major moldmaking companies, such as Tech Mold, Courtesy Mold, and Nypro Mold, as well as major OEMs that build tools in-house. Although many of these large companies have similar equipment, Hommer points out that the methods the company has developed make it "more cost effective for us to produce the round components than it is for them."
One of the company's customers, Porex Medical Products Group, recently awarded Hommer with a Tooling Supplier of the Year 2000 award for its "excellence in service, quality craftsmanship, and outstanding commitment to on-time delivery." Porex, which builds and maintains its molds in-house, has stringent requirements for cores and sleeves in the pipette molds it runs.
The expertise of its 35 employees and a shop full of specialized equipment are what allow Hommer Tool to meet such requirements, says J.R. Hommer.
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