Twenty years after leaving, GW Plastics Inc. of Bethel, Vt., is returning to Arizona. The custom injection molder recently purchased a 63,000-square-foot facility in Tucson that initially will house six injection molding presses. The company declined to comment on the cost of the investment.
Alan Gorman, vice president and general manager for GW Southwest, the company's San Antonio division, said GW chose the Tucson site in keeping with plans to make GW a regional molder.
``We're trying to get close to our markets and plan to serve customers in California and Tijuana, Mexico, from the Tucson plant,'' Gorman said.
The official corporate name of the new facility is GW Plastics Arizona, but Gorman said the name under which the company will be marketed has not been decided. Market thrust for the southwest plant is automotive, medical and consumer products, he said.
GW in Tucson plans to offer clean-environment molding that eventually may be upgraded to a Class 100,000 clean room similar to one in the Bethel plant. Other services will include assembly, a variety of secondary operations, and mold maintenance and repair. All new mold building will continue to come out of Bethel.
In the mid-1960s, GW put a plant in Arizona to serve its West Coast customers. During the merger-mania of the 1970s, the plant was sold, Gorman said.
The Arizona plant initially will have six presses with clamping forces of 50-250 tons. Gorman said the company may add some larger presses.
Plans call for the plant to be operational sometime during the first quarter of 1996. It initially will employ 10-15.
Three years ago, GW opened the San Antonio facility, which now employs 45 and has 18 presses with clamping forces of 25-230 tons. The Bethel facility houses 50 injection presses with 40-500 tons of clamping force and employs 255.