HIRAM, Ohio—Mantaline Corp. has expanded its operation and manufacturing capabilities with the addition of a new plant and equipment in Hiram.
It newest facility, called the Thermoplastic Extrusion and Injection Molding Innovation Center, spans about 30,000 square feet and sits on an eight acre site, which gives the company the needed space to expand if the business grows, according to President and CEO Mark Trushel.
He estimated the cost the new plant at $1.6 million, adding that Mantaline is spending another $1 million to add an extrusion line with three extruders, presses and other equipment. A grand opening was held Aug. 17.
“We expect the line to be at full capacity in mid-2017,” he said, “so we could add another line at the plant by mid next year. We have two injection presses in operation at the plant and two on order.”
About 18 are employed at the Hiram factory, currently working in two shifts. Trushel said the firm is in the process of hiring additional personnel.
Located about 15 minutes from the company's headquarters in Mantua, Ohio, the new plant opens the door for the firm to branch out into the thermoplastic elastomer and thermoplastic extrusion and injection molding sector, said Tom Mliner, president of business development.
Mantaline, which primarily produces goods made with rubber and silicone, will extrude thermoplastic materials—TPEs, thermoplastic vulcanizates and thermoplastic polyolefins—to produce products at the factory, which is air conditioned to keep materials and equipment moisture free.
It said the first of what will be several extrusion lines at the site is outfitted with two state-of-the-art quality assurance digital comparators. That gives employees the ability to monitor products being formed by three extruders in-line, in-process so the real time quality is baked into the products.
“With this facility, we harness "best available' technology,” Mlinar said. “Our goal is to deliver strategic componentry that enhances automotive safety as well as improves the aesthetic beauty to the end product.
“This facility allows us to work around the clock with new capabilities and add new products to our portfolio.”
Thermoplastics have a lot of attributes and can be formed economically in a number of processes, and “we can accomplish more with the materials,” Trushel said. The corner molding the firm is doing with the various TPEs provides for a quicker cycle time and any scrap—of which there is very little—is recyclable, he said.
“We've been in the rubber world since 1964 (when the company was formed) and at one time we looked at thermoplastics as a threat to rubber,” he said. But after further review, he said, the firm now views thermoplastics as a complement to rubber.
“There are some things that are only suited for rubber; for other things only plastics are a fit,” Trushel said.
Employee owned and operated, Mantaline is a Tier 1 supplier to the global commercial vehicle market, especially heavy trucks, and a Tier 2 supplier to the automotive industry. It designs, develops and produces molded and extruded components, primarily seals and gaskets, for a variety of industrial markets.
In addition to its facilities in Mantua and Hiram, the company has plants in Monterrey, Mexico, and San Antonio. The company employs about 175.