Orlando, Fla. — R&D/Leverage, which makes tooling for packaging and offers design and brand development services, is partnering with two mold makers in Brazil to expand into South America.
Leading the move is Michael Warkentien, who grew up in Brazil and has a long history of working in packaging in the country. R&D/Leverage hired Warkentien last April as director of Latin America business. He speaks fluent Portuguese.
Earlier this year, R&D/Leverage signed agreements with two Brazilian injection mold shops: Biomec in Joinville in Santa Caterina state, and Artis Matriz in Curitiba in Paraná state
Biomec will make molds for injection stretch blow molding and injection blow molding. Artis Matriz will focus on preform molds.
R&D and its Brazilian partners don't plan to compete in the very large-volume markets, dominated by companies like Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., according to Warkentien. But he said there is plenty of business in more specialty applications.
R&D/Leverage also made technology news at NPE2018, showing its Liberty injection blow molding and its proprietary Genesis hot runner manifold system, originally built for injection stretch blow molding but highlighted now for IBM as well.
For IBM, the manifold system eliminates the need for press operators to use blow torches on nozzles and climb on machines during startup, by thermally isolating the nozzle from the mold cavity and optimizing heat transfer from the hot runner block to the nozzle.
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