Sponsored By
Clare Goldsberry

October 18, 2016

3 Min Read
Proper Group and KraussMaffei partnership pays off

Proper Group International (Warren, MI), comprised of Proper Tooling and Proper Polymers, has high demands for reliable and efficient precision machinery, which is why it has partnered with KraussMaffei (Munich, Germany) for more than eight years. There is a synergy between the two companies in a strategic partnership that began in August 2010.  

“The business we pursue tends to be more complex and technical in nature,” said Joe Grippe, President of Proper Group International. “Krauss Maffei is a high-end producer of machines, and we are a high-end, technical producer of injection molds and injection molded products. For the products we produce, the machines must be dependable and have the ability to hold tight tolerances and process windows.”

Service is another key factor in their relationship. When a machine at Proper Polymers goes down, the three-shift manufacturing schedule can reach critical proportions, especially if the machine is customized and there is no replacement available. "It's more than lost dollars—customer satisfaction is paramount, if a part is not delivered on time," said Grippe. KraussMaffei provides excellent service, through phone support or in person. Typically a service person can be on site within 24 to 48 hours. If the situation is critical, Grippe said, they have been there much sooner.

Proper Polymers announced a new plant in Pulaski, TN, last November, and KraussMaffei was chosen for a 12-machine order at that facility. Proper Polymers invested $13.1 million in the new injection molding facility. Additionally, Proper Polymers’ new 50,000-square foot facility in Greenville, SC, which has 11 KraussMaffei presses, is slated to come online this month. The Greenville plant, representing an investment of $15.4 million, is expandable to 100,000 square feet to accommodate future growth.  Both plants will serve the automotive industry in the Southeast region.

According to Grippe, about 80% of the injection molding machines in their plants are KraussMaffei. “We work with KraussMaffei on a number of levels,” said Grippe. “One is in pursuing new technologies such as  lightweighting, which is a major initiative in the automotive market. The second is working together on unique technologies and molding applications, which involve integrating different technologies with the injection mold and injection molding machines.”

Proper Group’s Tooling Division makes tooling for exterior automotive lighting, glass encapsulation, multi-material products, cockpit modules and chrome products. Mold technologies include MuCell, low pressure molds, stack and spin, stack molds, back injection textile molds, molds for reaction injection molding, bulk compounds, compression and blow. Services include product development, production feasibility, pre-production and product molds, secondary equipment as well as production processes, validation and optimization.  

Proper Group International has been manufacturing since 1971. Since the recession of 2008, it has grown substantially because of its strength in engineering and technical molding applications. One area of substantial growth is the automotive lighting sector, which requires highly technical molding applications, including two- and three-component molding. “Our strong tooling background helps put us into the position to take on more complex molding applications,” Grippe said. “Thanks to the replacement of old equipment, the overall efficiencies of the plants are up 10%.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

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."

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like