COURTESY PLANNING $26 MILLION EXPANSION

Comments Email Print

Courtesy Corp. plans to install about 60 Krauss-Maffei injection presses in an expansion at its Buffalo Grove, Ill., headquarters.

Courtesy expects to invest about $26 million in a new, 300,000-square-foot facility and machinery, estimated John VanBosch, the firm's vice president of marketing and sales. It will start construction in the spring and has scheduled an early 1998 startup of the facility's molding and other equipment, VanBosch said in a telephone interview.

He said the plant will be part of Courtesy's Med/Tek division and will focus mainly on new business in medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical markets. It will include a Class 100,000 clean-room molding operation, a Class 10,000 clean-room assembly unit, surface modification equipment and testing and packaging areas. Its injection press clamping forces will range from 40-310 tons. The company also said in a news release it will use other, undisclosed manufacturing processes in the new plant.

VanBosch said Courtesy's latest expansion was the previously reported 350,000-square-foot building in Buffalo Grove for its Creative Packaging division. That plant began production in the spring and boosted Courtesy's total floor space to about 810,000 square feet, including space occupied by its Mold & Tool and Tek Center divisions.

VanBosch did not reveal customers for Med/Tek's new business. The division's current production capacity at Wheeling, Ill., and in a Buffalo Grove clean-room molding operation will continue to supply existing medical contracts, he said. Med/Tek has ISO 9002 accreditation.

Courtesy first made mention of the Med/Tek expansion in the fall, when it announced it bought its 100th Krauss-Maffei injection press. The press was slated to mold closures for the Creative Packaging division.

VanBosch said growing sales in medical diagnostic markets are a major driver for Med/Tek's expansion. The new facility will use corona and plasma discharge equipment to change surface properties of plastic parts, making them suitable to new diagnostic and medical techniques. For example, treatments can make usually inert plastic surfaces receptive to cell growth, a useful property for some diagnostic procedures.

Water absorbency or enhanced water repellency are other properties demanded in some diagnostic parts.

The new facility will process a variety of styrenic resins, polypropylene and engineering polymers, VanBosch said.

Courtesy specializes in close-tolerance, high-cavitation molding using hot runners. It recorded custom injection molding sales of $75 million for its 1995 fiscal year, nearly 50 percent higher than for the previous year.