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Seaway adds equipment, poised to add micro-molding unit

By: Frank Antosiewicz

February 12, 2014

Having recently started up its largest injection molding machine, Seaway Plastics Engineering Inc. continues to build diverse capabilities for its niche markets. It also added its first 5-axis machining center, and soon expects to have a micro-molding division as well.

“Our 950 Nissei was installed Dec. 17 and was up and running by Jan. 1,” said Tim Smock, CEO of Port Richey, Fla.-based Seaway Plastics, in a telephone interview.

He said the company prides itself on low-volume production and prototyping, and recently completed a record year in which sales rose 50 percent.

2013 also was Seaway’s first since it added a facility in Brooksville, Fla. Seaway moved from the Detroit area about 30 years ago. The Brooksville plant is about 30 miles north of its Port Richey headquarters.

The 950-ton press is being used for large parts in applications including medical, aircraft and food service. The company now has 29 presses, ranging in size from 44-950 tons.

Seaway also now has 12 high speed machining centers. It added two Haas centers, including its first five-axis machine, the Haas UMC-750. Smock said the company built more than 230 molds last year and the market is still strong, thanks to a surge of business from re-shoring.

“We are in the process of acquiring a micro-molding unit from another company and we will be putting a clean room in Brooksville,” Smock said.

He said a deal will be finalized by the end of the month and the clean room will be ready in May. He would not name the seller.

It has been a busy month for Seaway, as it was honored Feb. 6 by Florida Gov. Rick Scott with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award. The company was cited for its efforts to create jobs in the state.

The company’s employee base has grown in the last 10 years from about 50 to 150.

Smock said Seaway is still looking for employees and has been working with a local high school to build a training program and to improve awareness of the industry.