Since pooling their talents in January, Wisconsin Thermoset Molding Inc. (WTM) and Rose Polymer Composites LLC have taken aggressive steps that include acquisition of Milwaukee-based AcroReels in April, ISO 9001 certification and the roll out of a new corporate name, Cornerstone Composites Inc. The custom composite molders along with AcroReel will operate under the umbrella brand Cornerstone Composites to provide original equipment manufacturers (OEM) with tailored, high performance composite material engineered to replace metal and thermoplastic parts.
“Industry 4.0 and the technologies that support it like 3D printing, automation and The Internet of Things, are changing the way OEMs make parts,” says WTM Vice President Andy Stroh. “To remain competitive they are looking for ways to increase productivity, improve performance and reduce production costs. We can support OEMs from a material standpoint by working with them to develop custom formulations that are stronger than metals or thermoplastics, corrosion resistant and potentially lighter weight.”
Under Cornerstone Composites, the two companies have enhanced their capability to tailor components from concept, prototyping and testing to tooling and production methods. Equipment upgrades include 32 advanced compression, transfer and injection molding presses supported by extruders, preheaters and preformers. Four shifts operate between the two manufacturing locations which can produce parts from 1/4 to 30 in. wide.
“Our combined capabilities make us especially suited to help industrial and commercial OEMs that use a large amount of metal parts, structural and mechanical components or produce parts that will be exposed to harsh chemicals or temperature extremes,” Stroh says. “AcroReels designs high precision reels for the medical industry. One of our customers was exiting the business so we purchased the line because we felt the proprietary product was a fit with our custom molding business. It’s a niche technology we’ll be able to continue to provide to that market segment.”
In addition to design and fabrication, WTM and Rose Polymer have the flexibility to make one-offs or high volume part runs. “With large and deep draw parts capability we can offer an unprecedented size range for parts,” says Stroh. “Our goal is help customers find the best possible material for their application, whether or not we make a sale.”
WTM and Rose Polymer will continue to maintain their separate locations with WTM acting as the central contact for customers for both locations, as well as AcroReel.