GI Plastek Wolfeboro LLC, a custom structural foam and injection molder of medium and large parts, is unveiling a 35,000-square-foot expansion this month, showcasing its added manufacturing, assembly and warehousing capabilities.
“We now have the space to add about eight large presses and that gives us room to grow,” said Daniel Mills, president of GI Plastek, in a telephone interview.
He said the company has not decided when to add the new machinery, but that GI Plastek has a five-year plan and the space is ready when needed. The Wolfeboro, N.H., plant has 12 presses, ranging up to 1,574 tons of clamping force.
The $3.1 million project boosted the size of the GI Plastek facility to 91,000 square feet, but more importantly it allowed it to apply lean manufacturing principles to create a more efficient operation. The company moved its front entrance, added more offices and also consolidated outside warehouse space into one area.
Mills said the high bay manufacturing area will allow for quicker and safer mold changes, create a specific area for assembly and provide an efficient path for work flow. Two receiving bays are at one end, with four shipping bays at the other end.
He said the company has about 85 full-time employees with 20-25 temporary workers. They have also recently added quality and process engineers.
“We did a lot of lean training over the years and we used the experience to help design the facility for better product flow,” he said.
The company is growing, especially with its structural foam and gas assist molding.
Mills said that the company makes many different components including stadium seating, canoes and paddles, recreational productions, construction, drainage systems and medical enclosures.
GI Plastek also does painting, RF shielding, silk-screening and decorating, as well as other value additive services.