Tulip Molded Plastics Corporation’s Injection Molding Division recently opened its 82,500-sq-ft production facility in Niagara Falls, New York. The company performs injection molding and engineered resin production in Niagara Falls. Tulip’s investment in the new plant was $10.35 million, including the purchase and installation of nine Haitian and Zhafir injection molding machines:
- Four Haitian Jupiter JUII 6500 two-platen injection molding machines (731 U.S. tons)
- Four Haitian Mars MAII 3200 servo-hydraulic injection molding machines (360 U.S. tons)
- One Zhafir Zeres ZE 400 all-electric molding machine (44 U.S. tons)
“Once we made a conscious decision to upgrade to new equipment, we looked at several suppliers,” said John Signore, General Manager and project leader for Tulip’s modernization program. Processing Engineer Jason Tanger also worked on the selection of the molding machines for the new plant. “We evaluated reliability, cost, lead time for delivery and availability of spare parts and service,” said Tanger. “Our diligence included several visits to Haitian’s Ohio Tech Center. We also visited other molders who had purchased Haitian equipment to assess their experience with machines and support.”
“We were working with a budget so cost was a major consideration. In the end, it came down to our comfort level with their support,” noted Craig Kellogg, President and CEO of Tulip Molded Plastics. “Absolute Haitian’s shorter lead time for delivery than other companies was also a factor.”
In February 2017, the nine machines were delivered and installed in the new manufacturing facility. Absolute Haitian was there to fully assist with the final installation, start-up and oversight of initial production. “It went extremely well,” said Kellogg. “We can put any of our molds in a suitably sized machine and they run well. In fact, the up time and cycle time improvement exceeded our expectations. The interchangeability from one machine to another is an advantage,” said Tanger.
Rob Johnson is plant manager for the Niagara Falls facility. “When we informed our customers about our plans to move, they of course wanted us to provide them with SPC data to track any variation in the parts being produced on new machines in the new location. We found that our process control is much tighter with less variation than what we had achieved on our previous machines. It has been key in our ability to handle the move and still give customers on-time delivery and quality.”
Incentives pave the way for Tulip to stay in Niagara Falls
Tulip Corporation received a $1 million grant from the New York State Power Authority to subsidize the project, as well as 1,500 kilowatts of power. Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, provided $300,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $250,000 capital grant.
In addition to grants from the NYS Brownfield Program, building owner OSC developed a new sub-station and power service to the building with a $250,000 grant from National Grid’s economic development program.
“The plant has all LED lighting and the quality of the parts coming off the machines means there is less hassle for machine operators. Morale is up among our employees. It is a joy to walk out there. We anticipate that this project will help us generate new business,” noted Kellogg.