NAI, a manufacturer of custom end-to-end connectivity solutions for high-performance systems in industrial, telecom, data and medical industries, has made several significant equipment investments in its Gaylord, Mich. plant, exceeding $3 million. The Opening of the Gaylord plant was announced a year ago. NAI is now expanding its initial operations in Gaylord with significant capital investments in new equipment, including large investment in coaxial cable assemblies, new injection molding machines and a clean room.
The Gaylord plant supports NAI customers with a U.S. location for design and manufacture of its interconnect assemblies. It currently manufactures many SKUs for customers who desire a U.S. manufacturing location.
One of the largest capital investments NAI is making is in new equipment for manufacturing coaxial assemblies. NAI purchases coaxial cable, coax connectors and other components and performs overmolding, testing and assembly of coax units in its Gaylord plant. NAI currently manufactures industrial-grade coax assemblies with ½ in. ODs, with straight and right-angle connectors. Many of these assemblies are used on antenna towers for connecting wireless radios to base equipment.
The new coax assembly equipment includes cutting, stripping, additional overmolding and testing equipment, which will allow NAI to manufacture 500 coax assembly units per day by the end of 1st Quarter, 2019. Plans to increase this capacity are already underway.
In addition, many of the new molding machines are now in place and fully operational. This equipment features advanced digital control technology, providing extremely tight tolerances for precision molding.
The new equipment installed at the time of this release includes 10 injection molding presses, 45 to 258 metric tons. Six of these presses are 45 to 55 metric ton machines for overmolding and insert molding. The 55-ton press is a 2-position shuttle press.
The remaining four machines are horizontal injection molding presses, which are fully servo-controlled and loaded with state-of-the-art components and features. They are also outfitted with multi-axis servo-controlled robots, integrated hot runners and valve gate controllers. These larger presses include one 138 metric ton press, two 208 metric ton presses, and one 258 metric ton press. They all feature a full complement of advanced additive color feeders, dehumidifying dryers, and mold temperature controllers. Additional digital controllers round out the rest of the equipment and auxiliaries for precise molding control of products requiring extremely tight tolerances.
Molded products in Gaylord will support existing customer business, as components will be shipped to NAI’s four plants in Hermosillo, Mexico, where final assembly takes place. In addition, the molding equipment enables NAI to manufacture other custom products and components, extending their ability to manufacture products for new customers and applications, such as medical and surgical devices.
The NAI Gaylord plant is currently adding a 2nd shift and will operate a 2×10 schedule. The company is hiring for related positions.
NAI is also currently building a new Clean Room in Gaylord for the application of advanced hydrophilic coatings on proprietary medical products and advanced vacuum thermo-sealing of specialty packaging, prior to specialized electron beam sterilization. ISO 13485 certification has been applied for and is expected to be completed in March 2019.
In summary, the new equipment recently purchased and operating, or that will be operational in the next quarter, provides new capabilities for NAI:
- To support existing customer projects in NAI Mexico plants with molded components
- To manufacture custom molded products for new customers and applications
- To provide Clean Room capabilities for medical and industrial projects
- To broaden their ability to manufacture custom coaxial cable assemblies for other customers
- To support customers who wish to have a U.S. manufacturing location serve them