Home / Blog / Blow molder Lefko adds multilayer capability with new equipment

Blow molder Lefko adds multilayer capability with new equipment

Mar 01, 2024Mar 01, 2024

Canadian monolayer fuel tank maker Lefko Plastic Products Inc. is investing in new equipment to expand into multilayer tanks with an original equipment manufacturer, and plans to add production sites.

Lefko is teaming up with a "well-known OEM" to develop the multilayer tanks, but Éric Blondeau, president and general manager, said he could not disclose that company's name until its product hits the market.

Magog, Quebec-based Lefko also is setting up a new operation for the Texas/Mexico market and plans to add one or two new plants in the next seven or eight years, depending on demand, he said by email June 5.

The custom extrusion blow molder recently purchased a 165-ton Kautex machine — with two mold stations and robotic parison transfer — that can process about 2,360 pounds of plastic per hour.

Blondeau said the US$2 million machine is, "used, but Lefko is amazing at refurbishing machines; that's how we're able to remain competitive."

Production should begin in the fall.

The purchase brings the company's total to 14 machines and 21 blow molding heads. Lefko currently can make finished parts weighing 20 to 30 pounds; the new machine will raise the maximum to 65 pounds.

"We want to enter the multilayer fuel tank industry, [which is] in dire need of capacity. Also, we plan to introduce more PCR [post-consumer resin] to our products by inserting a layer of recycled plastic inside the virgin material to contribute to the world environment challenge," Blondeau said.

"Finally, we want to combine different materials with different properties and obtain the best of both worlds on some specialized products."

Blondeau and his partner, Jean-François Migneault, just acquired Lefko in early 2022 from the Lamoureux family, which founded the business around 65 years ago.

Lefko ranked No. 65 in Plastics News' latest ranking of North American blow molders, reporting $21 million in 2021 sales. Blondeau expects sales to remain steady this year, with growth coming in 2024. The company employs 110.

The company's markets include power sports, medical, transportation, security and environment, and industrial and building. Lefko has made everything from parts for mine-blasting equipment, hospital beds and snowmobiles, to seats for kayaks and stadiums, highway drums and home composting barrels.

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