According to Emery Li, eastern U.S. sales manager for Union Process, Inc., toll processing provides the ideal solution. "Union Process has always offered toll processing," he explains. "Initially, customers primarily used the service to evaluate our equipment on a larger scale or to produce larger quantities of test material. However, the last few years have seen significant increases in toll processing activity as our economy continues to trend toward outsourcing and more of a service economy. Our capabilities have continued to evolve with our customers' changing needs."
The company's 7300-square-foot lab and pilot plant features the complete line of Union Process milling equipment and handles wet and dry milling, small media milling for submicron applications, and particle characterization. According to Li, Union Process has milled numerous materials for a variety of different industries, in quantities ranging from less than 100 lbs to more than 20 tons. While much of this work is still geared toward helping prospective customers evaluate Union Process' fine grinding equipment prior to making a capital investment, the company has increasingly begun processing materials for other reasons as well.
For example, some companies that have already placed orders for new milling equipment have needed the additional production capacity sooner than the typical 12- to 14-week turnaround on the new mills. Rather than being stuck at current production levels while their equipment is being designed and built, these companies have been able to use Union Process' toll processing service to increase their production immediately. In other cases, R&D operations and startups without the capital, space or capabilities to handle material processing themselves have used the company's toll processing services to pursue new products or markets.
According to Li, the main benefits of using toll processing are the assurance that materials are processed to high standards under the supervision of experienced personnel, and the ability to evaluate equipment and processes on a pilot scale prior to making large capital expenditures. While toll processing isn't cost effective for every company, Li notes that it can provide a welcome solution in some applications. "High value added applications, such as electronic ceramics and dental ceramics, are examples of suitable candidates for toll processing," he explains.
"Our mission is to be a solution provider for our customers' grinding needs-whether that involves selling new equipment, refurbishing equipment, selling grinding media, offering lab testing services or providing toll processing services. We remain focused on being proactive to the changing economy and responsive to the industry's needs," says Li.
For more information about Union Process, Inc., contact the company at 1925 Akron Peninsula Rd., Akron, OH 44313; (330) 929-3333; fax (330) 929-3034; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.unionprocess.com.