Trademark Plastics, Inc. (TPI), is a custom molder in business since 1989 and based in Riverside, California. With 140 employees, 52 molding machines and 3.6 million lbs. of material processed per year, the company is a major supplier of parts to some of the top medical companies in the world.
Since COVID-19 hit the US in early 2020, TPI has seen a big increase in demand for its products, which include non-proprietary products for such medical devices as syringes and breathing apparatus. Between workforce challenges that included difficulty finding skilled labor, and having to operate during COVID with a reduced number of workers, the company increased its use of robotics and automation and turned to Wittmann Battenfeld, Vienna, Austria, a provider of robot automation and injection molding machine technology and more, to meet the demand.
After contacting Wittmann Battenfeld, the company discovered that one of the advantages that Wittmann robots provide is the ability to custom program. With their first purchase of Wittmann robots, TPI asked Wittmann for help with writing specific programs for their applications. Wittmann wrote the programs and sent a technical service person from the company’s Southern California Tech Center to TPI to install them and worked hand in hand with TPI’s team for long-term integration and success.
TPI CEO David Carty said he found Wittmann robots easy to program, easy to use and very low maintenance. He said he felt that Wittmann’s training was excellent and he appreciated the proximity of Wittmann’s Tech Center in Southern California and the local support Wittmann provides.
TPI was growing prior to COVID, but the company has seen a 40% increase in business in 2020 due to the demand for its medical products. While growth is good, the company has had hiring challenges and difficulty finding workers. Because of this, TPI needed to better automate its plant.
In addition to their use of Wittmann robots, TPI invested in a Wittmann Central Material Handling System in 2020 to better control the distribution of materials to the company’s large fleet of molding machines.
The Wittmann system with an M7.3 controller installed at TPI in 2020 has helped the company reduce material handling costs. The one central system loads material to 36 molding machines.
Carty said the Wittmann central material handling system has been a great addition for ensuring a constant material supply to the company’s machines without risk of contamination. TPI also has purchased additional Wittmann auxiliary equipment including a gravimetric feeder, a G-MAX granulator, Aton dryers and loaders.
For more information, visit www.wittmann-group.com.