By: Michael Lauzon
July 31, 2013
Autronic Plastics Inc. is using plant consolidation as an opportunity to boost energy efficiency.
The Westbury, N.Y., custom injection molder and producer of security packaging and specialty LED systems, is moving operations to a 100,000-square-foot facility in Central Islip, N.Y. The company is spending $9.5 million to buy and upgrade the plant and move operations from Westbury, N.Y., and Fletcher, N.C.
“We’re maxed out in New York,” said Autronic CEO Michael Lax in a telephone interview.
Autronic partly made the move to take advantage of power rates that can be as low as half of what it pays in North Carolina. Autronic will be able to buy a certain amount of low-cost hydroelectric power from upstate New York through the ReCharge NY program from New York’s Power Authority. The firm also is investing in roof solar panels, new equipment and a range of energy efficiency programs to curtail energy use, Lax explained.
The ReCharge power deal and state and local incentives convinced Autronic to consolidate in New York rather than North Carolina, Lax said.
“We will close [negotiations] on the building in mid-August and spend about four months on construction,” Lax said. “Around December we will start to relocate.”
Lax said his company will move its existing 20 injection presses to the new location and is making room for two more. After machinery and equipment are moved from the firm’s 40,000 square feet of space in New York and 20,000 square feet in North Carolina, Autronic will still have 30,000 square feet for further expansion.
Autronic’s custom molding business, dating to 1953, includes a tool room with 10 toolmakers. It mainly molds for industrial markets, employing a range of engineering resins. In 1993 it branched into security packaging through acquisition. Under the brand name Clear-Vu it makes specialty packaging for compact discs, digital video discs, pharmaceuticals and high-end retail products. It has since also diversified into specialty LED lighting systems for safety end-uses such as exit and emergency signs and traffic control signals.