Roembke sees growth from LSR specialization

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Photo by Don Loepp President Greg Roembke proudly noted that the company's open house has become one of the top LSR-related events of 2017.

Ossian, Ind. — Roembke Manufacturing & Design Inc. is seeing growth thanks to its specialization in tooling for liquid silicone rubber injection molders.

In September, Roembke opened a 9,000-square-foot application center, just in time for an open house to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary. The project gave the company 70,000 square feet of space.

Roembke's event wasn't a typical tooling company open house. The firm had 13 sponsor companies, all suppliers of LSR-related machinery and materials, and about 120 guests representing 35 different molders.

President Greg Roembke proudly noted that the open house has become an international conference and one of the top LSR-related events of 2017. Attendees came from across the country and around the world, including Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Germany.

"We try to make sure if we're going to have an event we want it to be educational as well, bringing in experts in the industry. So it's not only a celebration of our 40 years, but also a technical conference as well," Roembke said.

The company has held open houses every five years, starting a decade ago.

Roembke Manufacturing is based in Ossian, just outside Fort Wayne, Ind. The company started as a toolmaker for rubber molders, primarily serving the automotive market. In the late 1990s, it started to diversify, primarily into health care. Now more than 60 percent of its business is in medical products, Greg Roembke said.

Roembke Manufacturing is known for automation and processing expertise that allows molders to create finished products straight from the tool, without secondary trimming. Earlier this year, it acquired Design Facts Inc., an automation company in Fort Wayne. Prior to the acquisition, the companies frequently worked together on projects. Now that expertise is in-house at Roembke Manufacturing.

Greg Roembke said the new application center is, in part, a new home for Design Facts, now called DF Automation LLC. The expansion also is focused on what the company calls its turnkey center, where customers buying a tool and automation from Roembke Manufacturing can actually ship their molding machine to Ossian and have the toolmaker set up and troubleshoot the entire project prior to launch.

"We see that demand continuously increasing. Customers just see it as a huge advantage to be able to ship their machine and have their entire cell debugged before it shows up at their facility," Roembke said.

At the open house, guests watched highly automated Engel and Arburg molding cells with cameras for post-molding inspection and automated assembly stations.

Roembke Manufacturing has about 65 employees and is on pace to add five more by the end of the year, he said. Greg Roembke expects the company to continue to grow as LSR molders continue to improve their technology and mold higher-end products with tight tolerances.