Harbec, Inc., an Ontario, NY, contract manufacturer of tight tolerance, precision injection-moulded parts and assemblies, machined metal components and tooling, has found it has a lot in common with Arburg, the German manufacturer of injection moulding machines, whose U.S. headquarters are in Rocky Hill, CT. , and regional Technology Centres are located in Elgin, IL and Irvine, CA.
That applies not only to plastics processing but also to environmental sustainability, a key business priority for both companies. Harbec, which has been carbon-neutral since 2013 and water neutral since 2015 and plans to be zero waste to landfill by 2022, could be a model for how a manufacturer can operate sustainably and profitably. And Arburg under its “arburgGREENworld” programme, aims to continuously increase production efficiency in all areas of plastics processing, to reduce its carbon footprint over the long term, to find solutions for circular economy, and to support their customer in processing recyclates and bioplastics.
For Bob Bechtold, President of Harbec, it all started a long time ago when, as a child, he says he was fascinated by the forces of nature… how the wind could lift a kite into the air or how sunlight passing through a magnifying glass could burn wood.
Bechtold, a toolmaker by trade, founded Harbec as a general-purpose machine shop in 1977. Over the years, the business has evolved to the point where, now, about 60% of its business is plastics injection moulding. They still operate 47 CNC machining centres and 3-axis to 7-axis milling machines, but they now also have 36 injection-moulding machines including 5 energy-efficient Allrounders from Arburg. Key markets include medical, aerospace, defence and security, high-end industrial components and high-performance electromagnetic components. They mould over 350 different resin compounds making such products as precision lenses, medical testing devices, precision automotive vent disks, microfluidic elements, etc.