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Michigan's LMS Inc. adds new electric press

MIDLAND, MICH. (April 20, 10:50 p.m. ET) -- Silicone valve manufacturer LMS Inc. has added an electric plastics injection molding machine to help boost its growing thermoplastic components business.

The new electric press — a 110-ton Toshiba machine — allows the firm to produce plastic subcomponents for valves in-house, said Justin Sessink, LMS sales and marketing coordinator.

In-house production will complement partnerships that LMS has with plastic molders in the U.S., Mexico and Asia, he said.

This press will be used primarily is for thermoplastics — including thermoplastic elastomers — but Sessink said future electric machines likely will be used for both TPEs and silicone.

While in recent years about 90 percent of the quotes LMS has sent out have been for elastomeric flow-control valve assemblies, plastic assemblies and subassemblies are growing revenue generators for the Midland-based company, Sessink said. The firm’s medical market is its fastest-growing segment, with nearly every quote including thermoplastic-based materials.

LMS does not plan to use the new machine in its Class 10,000, ISO 13485-certified clean room, Sessink said. But by the end of 2009, the 24-year-old company will double the size of the clean area in Midland and bring in three or four new presses for use there because of its double-digit medical market growth. The company also serves consumer and commercial end-markets.

The company also has an engineering department, in-house mold-building capability and in-depth testing and laboratory services.

The firm chose an electric press because it gives it better control for small, complex parts, said Greg Cole, LMS senior process engineer.