Eck Plastic Arts Adds 1,012-Ton Mars II S Molding Machine

Since injection molding is its fastest growing market segment, Eck Plastic Arts, Binghamton, New York, has enhanced its injection molding capacity with a Haitian 1,012-ton Mars II S injection molding machine. The MA 9000 II S/6800 was delivered to the company’s Binghamton location in June 2020. Eck Plastic Arts is a producer of quality plastic parts for original equipment manufacturers, including vacuum forming, injection molding and fabrication of sheet plastic. The company caters to industrial equipment manufacturers for markets including medical and defense equipment suppliers.

The new MA 9000 II S is four times larger than Eck Plastic Arts’ next largest press. “When looking to grow our business, we realized it is not hard to find work for a molding machine this size,” said Brett Pennefeather, president. “At the time the machine was ordered, we had one project lined up for the 1,012-ton Mars. Now we have five other projects lined up right behind that.”

This is the first Haitian press purchased by the company. Asked why they selected the MA II S, Pennefeather noted the machine’s easy-to-use tie bar puller. “Our ceilings top out at 11 feet and machines this size are about 9 feet high. The only way to install or change out a mold is to load the mold from the side,” said Pennefeather. “We ordered the MA II S with an automatic tie bar puller that was on the preferred side of the machine and operated with a push of a button. The lead time on this customized option was shorter from Absolute Haitian than from competitors and other competitors’ tie bar pullers were not automatic.”

Preparing for delivery of the machine was challenged by the rise of the Coronavirus since a new concrete floor had to be poured and new electrical and plumbing services installed while keeping employees and contractors safe. Delivery of the large-tonnage machine was equally challenging as the riggers, Rogers Service Group, had to navigate several tight intersections and a narrow delivery dock. “The clamp alone weighed some 50,000 pounds and was assembled outside and then rolled into the building,” said Pennefeather.

The first product being made on the MA II S is a souvenir drinking cup shaped as a baseball bat and sold at major and minor league ballparks. “The delay in opening professional baseball ended up working in our favor as it took the fire drill out of starting up the machine,” admitted Pennefeather. “It gave us more time to make sure everything was assembled properly, and auxiliaries were hooked up correctly as we familiarize our team with this new machine make.”

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Eck Plastic Arts partnered with a local non-profit, the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment (AVRE) to manufacture thousands of face shields. AVRE has contracts with federal agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assemble the face shields from components produced by Eck Plastic Arts. “AVRE has been able to distribute the shields not only to federal agencies but also to several local hospitals,” explained Pennefeather. “We provide the parts at cost, keeping our shop active, enabling AVRE to provide contract work for its visually impaired clients and lower the price of the face shields for entities that badly need them.”

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