Murray Plastics is a local business in Gainesville that has helped visionaries turn their ideas into realities for the past 23 years.
What started as a small company in New York is now a growing business near central Gainesville. Murray Plastics specializes in customized injection molding, so no project is too small for the company – if there’s a concept, there’s a way to create it.
“We have inventors come to us that have an idea that they would like to get to market,” Kevin Keizer, the Project Design and Development Manager at Murray Plastics, said. “We also have established companies that may have a new product that they are either going to sell or pretty much use for their in-house process,” he said.
Murray Plastics has created a wide variety of products from military-grade night vision to cellphone stands, but the company’s roots are in manufactured film reels processed through a second branch of the business called Tayloreel.
Tayloreel has manufactured a number of film reels once used in traditional film making, but now the reels are used as electronic components and in automation, Keizer said.
Injection molding is used for both branches of the company, but what exactly is followed when practicing the process?
Keizer said to think of the process as a syringe, where solid state plastic is turned into a molten state and injected into a mold customized for each manufactured product. Once cooled, the mold is released, where it is dropped much like winning a cheap stuffed animal out of one of those supermarket claw games.
Finally, pieces are hand-trimmed of excess plastic, dipped into an anti-static solution – that way they do not ruin electronics, inspected and shipped to the customer. In some cases, products have an additional step before they are inspected and shipped, a process called ultrasonic welding.
“It’s welding plastic together, and it doesn’t involve any heat” Keizer said. “The machine pretty much vibrates the plastic at a certain molecular level and causes it to fuse together,” he said.
Manufacturing is not a mistake-proof process, which leads to the next question: When products don’t pass inspection, what happens to the waste?
“Of course, if it’s not recycled properly plastic basically stays in the environment for forever,” Keizer said. “So, we do recycle our plastics,” he said.
Unused or damaged products are fed into machines called grinders. The plastic is recycled into chips and later used at a certain percentage for new projects, or chips are sold to a third-party company that buys and sells reprocessed material Keizer said.
Injection molding aside, Murray Plastics also offers 3D printing services to their customers. The process is not meant for products in high volume, but the technology does aid to eliminate mistakes and verify designs, Keizer said.
“With 3D printing, you can replace certain parts if they’re not too critical on stress or quantities,” Keizer said. “But there are limitations when it comes to strength and volume,” he said.
If there is a vision or a dream, Murray Plastics helps the customer from start to finish. Keizer said the company considers themselves a one-stop-shop for consumers.
“if they need packaging or other aspects of the business, even though we don’t do necessarily all of that here, we have various contacts,” Keizer said. “We can bring everything together under one roof.”
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