C&J Industries completes $6.8 million expansion

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MEADVILLE, PA. (Feb. 6, 1:05 p.m. ET) — C&J Industries, a high-precision injection molder and contract manufacturer, recently completed a $6.8 million renovation and expansion at its Meadville plant.

The project included a 30,000 square-foot addition — a 12,000 square-foot white room, a new quality assurance lab, and additional warehouse space.

The new white room will be used for medical and non-medical molding and is capable of holding 17 presses, ranging from 55 to 720 tons.

C&J also overhauled existing plant areas. They converted an existing contract assembly room into Class 8 clean rooms for medical molding, and turned a general molding room into a fully-equipped white assembly room.

The new assembly room will be used for a variety of secondary services like manual and automated assembly, pad printing, sonic welding, heat staking and leak-testing, the company said.

The expansion also included the purchase of nine new all-electric injecting molding presses ranging from 55 tons to 390 tons.

C&J started the expansion, the largest in the company’s history, on Oct. 8, 2010. The project was slated to take six months and cost $6 million, but a combination of bad weather and shifting demands caused a delay, said Mark Fuhrman, director of sales and marketing, in a Feb. 2 phone interview.

“The whole process was pretty fascinating,” he said. The company originally planned to renovate existing areas into white rooms, but during construction the demand for clean molding jumped dramatically, so instead of a white molding room they created a clean molding room.

“To manage all this and to stay working 24 hours a day was a pretty challenging task, but we were successful,” he added.

Construction on the expansion wrapped-up in December 2011, and the company unveiled the finished project to the public on Feb. 3. While the debut is six months later than anticipated, it now coincides with C&J’s 50th year in business.

With the completed project, the plant spans 180,000 square feet and houses 42 presses ranging from 20 tons to 720 tons. The company currently employs 272 workers, but plans to increase its workforce by 10-15 percent, Fuhrman said. In recent years, the company has seen across the board growth — approximately 45 percent over the last three years — and anticipates that double-digit growth will continue, he said.

“Given this economy we’re obviously very grateful, appreciate of what C&J has been able to accomplish,” Fuhrman said.

C&J Industries, based in Meadsville, was ranked no. 127 in Plastics News’ most-recent list of North American injection molders.