At the Dalton facility, the company is installing a brand-new 15-ton crane system and looking into adding a new bulk materials handling system. It’s also beefing up its machinery lineup with larger tonnage injection molding machines.
Two of those machines — servo-hydraulic two-platen presses, both with a clamping force of 1,050 tons — are from Austrian machinery maker Engel’s Chinese subsidiary Wintec, which specializes in single-shot injection molding machines designed for standard applications.
Engel introduced the Wintec brand to the United States during NPE2018, expanding sales of the standard grade injection molding machines to North America and Brazil.
CH3 Solutions was the first customer who bought a Wintec machine once sales opened up for the region, said Hannes Frauenschuh, vice president of Wintec North America.
“Our machine builds upon Engel’s experience, and it offers the highest reliability, energy efficiency and repeatability,” he said in a phone interview. “We focus on standardization, not only in the product but also in production, which keeps lead times extremely, extremely short.”
Wintec machines are designed and engineered in Europe and produced in China. The company also has stock machines in both China and York, Pa., where Engel’s North American subsidiary is also headquartered.
Since Wintec machines are manufactured in China, the company’s machinery imports into the U.S. are slapped with a 25 percent tariff. Despite the Trump administration’s partial truce with China in mid-January, 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports remain.
“The tariffs do impact us,” Frauenschuh said. “But we are still very competitive in our offering.”
For CH3 Solutions, Davenport said the tariff hit the company at about 12 percent, but there wasn’t any sticker shock.
“I’m not seeing the full 25 percent in there,” he said, explaining that Wintec will work with the customer on a tariff and pricing strategy.
CH3 Solutions’ two T-Win series machines are scheduled to be delivered in February. They’ll join two other Wintec presses from the hydraulic series — a 730-ton and a 950-ton.
“We’re starting to move our entire production floor around to move all the machines to get in line with the crane and then make room for the two machines and … shrink our footprint to give us more real estate in the building,” Davenport said.
He said the small footprint of the Wintec presses was huge selling point.
Once the two Wintec presses are delivered, CH3 Solutions will have six injection molding machines in total, with clamping forces ranging from 730-2,080 tons. The company is keeping one small press, however: a 110-ton that runs about 50 tools for two customers.
“At CH3, we’re not a huge company,” he said. “But we try to really help our partners in the industry. … There’s always going to be competition, right? But if we can help each other, I think it’s going to make our industry better and make it easier in the future.”