GW Plastics invests in Vermont and Costa Rica plants

Mike Verespej

Published: February 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Injection Molding

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (Feb. 15, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Precision molder and contract manufacturer GW Plastics Inc. expects to complete an expansion of its liquid silicone rubber capabilities in Royalton, Vt., by the end of the second quarter, and the company is making progress toward completing its plant in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rica plant will be a greenfield facility, rather than the retrofit of an existing plant.

“We will be adding another 12-14 machines in Vermont for our liquid silicones business” — which is almost double what the company expected to add in the initial stages when it first announced the expansion of its silicones division in September, said Tim Reis, vice president of business development for health care.

“The expansion will cost slightly north of $3 million. It is going to increase our LSR capacity dramatically. It dovetails well with our healthcare business,” he said in an interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show, held Feb. 14-16 in Anaheim.

GW, which formed its silicones division in 2008, currently is running four machines for that business. The 16,000 square foot expansion includes an ISO Class 8 clean room for molding and assembly. The expansion can be scaled to 25,000 square feet and up to 18 machines.

“We started the silicones division in one-half of our tech center. It has been very successful and we stuffed that area with machines. We needed to expand,” Reis said.

“The industry is looking for high-end liquid silicone molding with automated de-molding, flashless molding and scientific injection molding for process molding,” he said. “They want someone who can solve technical problems with technical solutions.”

As for Costa Rica, Reis said that the company’s 33,000 square foot plant in that country — first announced in June — will be ready “by the last quarter of this year.”

“Originally we were going to lease an existing facility. But we decided to build a facility because at the end of the day, an injection molding plant requires a specific type of footprint,” he said.

The decision to build a new plant changed the cost of the investment from $3 million to somewhere between $3 million and $5 million.

The plant is a joint venture between GW — which is the majority partner — and Corprosemm Corp., a Cartago injection molder and contract manufacturer for the medical industry.

The JV, GW Plastics Cartago, has been operating in a 10,000 square foot since last summer, and GW has been shipping product to Costa Rica for 5-6 years.

“This will give us a second low-cost place to build medical devices,” Reis said. “Costa Rica continues to attract healthcare OEMs, so it is an attractive place to be.”

He said the plant will have space for roughly 20 injection molding machines, ranging in size from 35-300 tons.

“We see Costa Rica as a continued growth opportunity, so it made sense to invest well,” he said. “We are going to have significant room for contract manufacturing there and we are also going to leave some space for silicone rubber molding and transition to that based on demand by customers.”

GW — the Plastics News Processor of the Year in 2009 — also has plants in the Vermont towns of Bethel and Royalton, San Antonio, Texas; Queretaro, Mexico; and Dongguan, China. Worldwide, it operates six Class 8 clean rooms.

“We have a strong backlog of projects that will impact us positively in 2012,” said Reis. He said the company grew in the mid-teens in 2011, with health care “growing faster” than that. Healthcare now represents 65 percent of the company’s sales, Reis said. “We expect another good growth year.”

“The biggest challenge we are facing right now and that the industry is facing right now is the cost of molding machines and the cost of new technology,” said Reis. “The question we all have to answer is how do you fund replacement equipment, state-of-the-art machine tools. We are fortunate because our ownership is strong and financially stable.”


Comments

GW Plastics invests in Vermont and Costa Rica plants

Mike Verespej

Published: February 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Illinois injection molder expands

July 21, 2014 1:23 pm ET

Automotive supplier All-Rite Industries Inc. has added two new injection molding machines to its operations.    More

Image

Infiltrator goes very large scale for injection press

July 18, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Infiltrator Systems Inc. has designed and built a mammoth injection press, with 6,000 tons of clamping force, to mold septic tank halves measuring 15 ...    More

Image

Polyfab adding more room for automation and molding

July 17, 2014 12:02 pm ET

Polyfab Corp. is expanding its automation and injection molding capacity.    More

Image

Wisconsin mold maker doubling facility size

July 16, 2014 2:05 pm ET

A Germantown, Wis. toolmaker is planning to more than double the size of its facility.    More

ResTech completes merger of Connecticut operations

July 16, 2014 12:33 pm ET

ResTech Plastic Molding LLC recently completed the merger of its two Connecticut facilities into one location in Berlin, Conn. The new combination wil...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events