Brazil’s Forjas Taurus S.A., which acquired MIM producer Steelinject Injeção de Aços Ltda from the Lupatech Group at the end of 2011, reports that it is expanding its presence as a global supplier of MIM parts.
Forjas Taurus S.A., headquartered in Porto Alegre-RS, is a publicly traded Brazilian engineering corporation. As well as being the largest producer of handguns in Latin America, and one of the largest in the world, the business is composed of seven units in Brazil and two in the USA with production facilities that manufacture weapons, forged parts, helmets for motorcyclists, ballistic vests, injected plastic products, hand tools and machine tools. Combined, these business units have total sales of USD 400 million per year with approximately 4,000 employees.
Steelinject, located in the city of Caxias do Sul, in the northeastern region of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, started its MIM operations in 1994 with a license from the US Parmatech Corporation.
Forjas Taurus itself has a major captive MIM operation and the acquisition of Steelinject now presents the company with the choice of two feedstock systems for the manufacture of MIM parts for internal use, as well as for its growing international customer base. Steelinject uses the wax-polymer technology and solvent debinding system licensed from Parmatech, whilst Forjas Taurus uses BASF’s Catamold system.
Forjas Taurus is now in the process of merging the two facilities on to one site, which is scheduled to be fully operational by the summer of 2013. Ricardo Machado, Operations Manager at Steelinject, told PIM International, “It is our intention to grow our sales base in Europe and appoint a sales representative for the USA market. We will also promote MIM technology in Brazil in order to double our sales in three years.” The merged facility will be located in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Steelinject manufactures MIM parts with a weight range of 0.1-150 g, producing between 500,000 and 700,000 parts per month, resulting in around four tons of feedstock being used each month. The company operates nine moulding machines and a range of batch and continuous furnaces, as well as offering in-house heat treatment.
Forjas Taurus operates fifteen injection moulding machines, with parts processed using five Elnik catalytic debinding furnaces, four Elnik sintering furnaces and two continuous MIM furnaces from Cremer, a MIM Master 6 and an 8 XL. The company produces between 1 to 1.2 million parts per month, ranging from 2 to 350 g, resulting in the consumption of around eight tons of Catamold feedstock per month.