York, PA – Throughout their five-year relationship, ENGEL has provided West Des Moines, IA, custom molder i2-tech with complete turnkey solutions to fit their ever-changing needs. When it came to an increased demand for large tonnage capabilities, i2-tech tapped ENGEL for its largest machine yet.
“For a long time, many of our customers had been asking us to quote business in the 4,000-plus press range. And we’ve had to no-quote those opportunities,” explained Darin Endecott, president of i2-tech. “In addition, we needed redundancy for our 3,300 ton press for disaster recovery purposes.”
In October 2020, i2-tech took the first steps to meeting that demand by ordering the 4,400 U.S. ton ENGEL duo. The machine is the largest that i2-tech has ever ordered.
“The 4,400-ton ENGEL will broaden our capabilities to meet the wide demands and be a one-stop shop, especially for the big OEMs,” Endecott noted. “It will further open up opportunities to us, especially in the agricultural and construction industries.”
With the new large-tonnage ENGEL, i2-tech can add parts such as sun tops on recreational vehicles, as well as fuel and hydraulic tanks to its offerings. “Build it and they will come,” Endecott added.
“It was clear that the ENGEL duo 4,400 U.S. ton hydraulic machine with an integrated viper 120 linear robot was the perfect complement to i2-tech’s machine fleet and production capability expansion,” states Vanessa Malena, regional vice president for the northeast and midwest for ENGEL. “After comprehensive discussions between i2-tech, Mirocke Sales, ENGEL’s sales representation in that area, and ENGEL, the equipment package was specified to meet their exact needs,” Malena went on to say.
The machine is on track for a mid-June delivery.
The addition is part of a larger expansion that includes four additional ENGEL machines ranging from 340 to 1,900 U.S. tons, as well as increasing their production and warehousing space by 75,000 square feet, and nearly doubling their workforce.
“2020 was a good year for us,” Endecott says. “We were asked to remain open as we made medical devices as well as components for the agricultural and construction markets.”
After two competitors who served common customers closed their business, i2-tech experienced a surge in orders. “The expansion was paramount due to the sudden jump in business,” Endecott explained. “Over the last year, we saw a 40 percent increase in sales.”
Throughout their five-year relationship, i2-tech has been impressed with ENGEL’s unique approach to injection molding machinery sales.
“What’s interesting and unique is ENGEL’s turnkey approach to sales,” stated Endecott. “They’re not just selling us the machine and robot, but also connecting us with turnkey solutions that include prepping, conveying, coloring, regrinding and reprocessing. It provides us with ways to do more with what we have.”
“As for the machines themselves, the tie-bar-less machines have also improved our capabilities and flexibility with the number of tools we manage for our customers,” he added. “What we like about the ENGEL duo in particular is it’s a super fast two-platen machine, provides us with excellent platen parallelism, and the tie bars do not make contact with the moving platen, providing excellent mold protection and zero friction,” Endecott explained. “And there are countless combinations of machine options available to meet our specific needs.”
Endecott also cited ENGEL’s support before and after the sale as key ingredients in their relationship. “ENGEL’s responsiveness to our specific needs through a close relationship with their sales representatives is highly beneficial. And after the sale, ENGEL does an amazing job of being here when we need them.” Founded in 1960, i2-tech has been under the current ownership since 2003. The custom injection molder has over 40 presses, ranging from 55 to 4,400 U.S. tons. The company also offers a wide range of additional services, including assembly, vibratory and ultrasonic welding, hot stamping, gas assist and insert molding. Industries served include construction, agricultural, medical and automotive.