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Central Plastics plans move

By: Roger Renstrom

August 17, 2012

LOMPOC, CALIF. (Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m. ET) — Injection molder and thermoformer Central Plastics & Manufacturing LLC plans to move its operations from Lompoc  to nearby Santa Maria, Calif.

Jason Montello, owner and operations director, is searching for a Santa Maria facility that offers at least 20,000 square feet and about 2,000 amperes of electrical current. Not every location combines sufficient power and space, including a truck dock, he said.

The company’s current, leased, 85,000-square-foot site in Lompoc is larger than it needs, Montello said. A private equity investor acquired the building last September and has committed to leasing the premises to Den-Mat Holdings LLC, a fast-growing Central Plastics customer. Den Mat, currently located in Santa Maria, has already begun the move.

Central Plastics must vacate the Lompoc premises by Oct. 1.

Montello said Den-Mat, which manufactures cosmetic restorative and clinical product solutions for dentists globally, is a good customer.

“We are ready to move,” Montello said. He said that he expects to shut down production during the transition. “We ran production orders [to fulfill requirements] for big customers until the end of year,” he explained.

Montello took ownership of Central Plastics in October. The company employs 25-30, including two product designers and others making thermoform tooling, many of whom have lengthy tenure with the business. Equipment includes 14 Nissei, Toyo, Engel and Haitian injection molding machines of 40-800 tons and four thermoforming machines — a 130FT40 system from Lyle Industries Inc. and, for smaller requirements, three vacuum formers from Atlas Vac Machine LLC.

Central Plastics is primarily a custom molder and thermoformer with some promising proprietary products, Montello said. The company has patented a high density polyethylene tri-fold shipping package, called the StackPro, for winemakers, clubs and distributors. The new line accounts for about 10-15 percent of the firm’s business. Other end markets include food containers and vegetable and party trays.

Projects have also included injection molded plastic action figures and other parts for a toy wrestling ring that Jakks Pacific Inc. of Malibu, Calif., markets as the WWF Spring Ring; and a thermoformed two-sided snap-together protective shell for a holiday martini gift set, which Central assembled and drop-shipped for Sausalito Foods LLC of Portland, Ore.

Den-Mat was acquired in November by affiliates of Centre Partners Management LLC of New York and Mill Street Partners LLC of Los Angeles.