"Because molding quality parts requires the design and manufacture of high-quality molds, it's only natural to bring the companies closer together for the benefit of our customers," said Tim Peterson, Vice President of Industrial Molds Group, in a prepared statement.
The remodeling and upgrading was done under the direction of Pyramid's new General Manager, John Guthrie, who was hired nearly a year ago. Guthrie spent 18 years in Florida running a custom molding plant that "was very similar to Pyramid" in size and capabilities, Guthrie said. Prior to coming to Pyramid, he was employed at the proprietary molding operation of a local Rockford OEM.
Industrial Molds spent more than a year and invested nearly $2 million upgrading the company's mold manufacturing facility, located near Pyramid Plastics. Pyramid's long-term planning calls for purchasing three new presses per year for the next five years.
Pyramid has added three new, all-electric Toshiba 55-, 140- and 200-ton injection molding machines. A fourth all-electric Toshiba press is scheduled for installation in the fourth quarter, which will give Pyramid a total of 27 machines ranging from 20 to 1,000 tons. "We have several new jobs we're starting that we're targeting for the new 200-ton press," noted Guthrie, adding that the number of presses remains about the same "because we've gotten rid of many of our older presses in our equipment upgrade, to gain better efficiencies both in productivity and energy."
Along with the new presses, Pyramid purchased new auxiliary equipment that includes an "intelligent" material drying system and pressurized high-temperature water system. Guthrie explained that Pyramid runs a lot of high-temperature engineering resins for many of the heavy-duty industrial components it molds for customers. "Instead of hot oil, we decided to use pressurized water, which has better thermal properties, is safer and cleaner," he said.
In addition to the production floor remodel and equipment upgrades, Pyramid completely remodeled its quality department, putting in new, energy-saving light fixtures, furniture, flooring and a parts storage system. A new MicroVue Excel 664 Multi-Sensor vision system capable of 900x magnification was also added to replace an older CMM. "This new MicroVue system provides us with greater accuracy, faster measurements and ease of use," said Don Moline, Pyramid Quality Manager.
The facility has been repainted and the company is in the process of remodeling the front areas of the production floor with all new LED lighting fixtures; air conditioning will be installed in the front manufacturing room this winter. "We're making a big push to increase and improve our technical abilities, but additionally we're making Pyramid a better environment in every way possible," Guthrie said.