Injection molding with no personnel? New hybrid molding machinery? Robert Schad's latest venture approaches commercial sales


If you want to know what Robert Schad is doing, then maybe it's best to visit injection molder Niigon in Moose Deer Point, ON, where seven injection molding machines run through the night without an employee in sight.

Schad, who founded Husky Injection Molding Systems, built it into a global supplier of hot runners, PET preform molds and injection molding machinery, and then sold it, went on to found Athena Automation Ltd. (Vaughan, ON) in 2008. We last saw Schad at the Chinaplas trade show in May 2011 as he was closely inspecting an injection molding machine with an Athena colleague. We asked him then about Athena but he said it still was too early to go public with his new company's developments.

Now, though, Schad and Athena are opening up. The company, with about 50 employees, operates out of a 40,000-sqf (4000-sq meter) facility and has acquired an adjacent 15-acre lot in preparation for expansion. Athena's employees are working on development of hybrid electric/hydraulic injection molding machinery as well as the development and implementation of lights-out automation systems for injection molders. That is a lot of ground to cover, but then in Greek mythology Athena was multifaceted too as the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill.
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