ENGEL vertical press gives Sterling Mfg. high-end cleanroom capability

Sterling Manufacturing Co., South Lanchaster, Mass., has taken delivery of an ENGEL insert 200/60 US injection molding machine, which was installed in their recently completed Class 100,000 cleanroom.

Shortly after purchasing Sterling, the current ownership invested in a new molding machine and cleanroom facility to pump up its medical and aerospace molding business.  The vertical clamp ENGEL insert 200/60 US, which has a 60 ton vertical clamp and 200cc injection unit, will operate in Sterling’s recently constructed Class 100,000 cleanroom.  The new machine and cleanroom are the first of many planned investments for the precision custom molder.

Sterling is now owned by John Gravelle, molding business veteran, and Stan Bowker, co-owner and President, who together acquired Sterling in early August 2011.  Michael Gravelle, Director of Business Development, says, “The management team is looking to expand Sterling’s existing customer base by investing in new technology and equipment.”  Sterling’s plant measures 35,000 sq ft and employs a staff of 45.  “Sterling’s employees have significant experience in molding and value added processes, and are fully committed to our expansion plans,” says Vice President of Engineering, Bob Clinton.

The new ENGEL machine is a part of Sterling’s growth plan, which calls for increased use of automation.  Machine and automation investments will help Sterling compete for high volume work with existing customers as well as in expanding their customer base.

Sterling currently specializes in high-value medical, aerospace, and military parts.  Medical applications include fluid-delivery devices, stents, implantables and medical device housings, as well as diagnostic, endoscopic and sports medicine equipment.  Military and aerospace applications include audio headset components and pilot helmets for the United States Air Force.

Sterling makes a point of providing superior technical support in order to meet client needs.  For example, if a client needs to change a particular specification for a product, Sterling seeks to meet that need with high-end engineering services.  “Engel’s responsiveness to our technical needs aids us in keeping the level of responsiveness we provide our customers,” states Stan Bowker.

“Sterling will be a mid-size manufacturing company with large company capabilities.  We will compete with China and Mexico by taking labor costs out of the equation with automation for high volume applications.  At the same time, we will remain flexible enough to continue our current business model of doing short run, high margin jobs that large molders, with large overheads, can’t afford to go after,” according to Michael Gravelle.

Stan Bowker notes that Sterling has an excellent energy-efficient manufacturing facility.  The building is partially underground, so it is naturally well insulated.  Sterling also considers energy savings when purchasing new injection machines.  Bowker also notes “ENGEL offers a variety of choices when it comes to drive technology.  We can choose between all-electric, servohydraulic and hybrid technologies.  We will take advantage of whatever technology is best for a given application.”

For more information, visit: www.sterlingmfg.net or www.engelglobal.com

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