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Special company finds 'green' machines to mold 'green' products

When LC Industries—a company with a very special mission—wanted to mold an eco-friendly product line, it wanted eco-friendly production, too. So it acquired its first all-electric injection molding system. LC Industries' mission is to provide meaningful employment for people who are blind.

In fact, LC industries is the largest single employer in the USA of people who are blind. The not-for-profit company has operations in more than 10 states, six manufacturing locations that make about 800 products, two large distribution centers, more than 30 retail stores on military bases, and a thriving e-commerce operation.

The new eco-friendly product line is biodegradable cutlery and serving ware for both the U.S. military and commercial markets. The molding machines they selected are three 550-ton Engel e-motion systems, each equipped with Engel erp sprue-removal robots, and they are up and running in LCI's Durham, NC facility.

"The new cutlery products that we are producing are disposable and biodegradable-they're 'green.' So, our executives wanted to run them on energy-efficient, 'green' machines," said Mike Farmer, manufacturing engineer at LCI's Durham plant. And, after visiting a local molder who uses ENGEL equipment, we also were as impressed with ENGEL's long-term service program, as we were with the machine's reliability." LC Industries has injection machines from a number of different manufacturers, including some from Engel in its Hazelhurst, MS manufacturing location.

LCI has been in business for more than 70 years operating under the AbilityOne Program, which uses the purchasing power of the U.S. federal government to buy products from community-based nonprofit agencies that train and employ people with disabilities.

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