Centrex Precision Plastics Inc., an 8-year-old custom injection molder, is expanding beyond its central Pennsylvania base and into the southeastern United States. Centrex is moving into a leased, 63,000-square-foot molding plant in Asheville, N.C., being vacated by Nypro Inc., and plans to begin production there in December. Nypro, based in Clinton, Mass., recently moved into a new, larger plant in Asheville.
Centrex expects to take delivery this week of eight new injection molding machines from Shinwa Seiki Ltd. of Japan, with clamping forces of 30-300 tons. The company said it plans to buy 10 more Shinwa Seikis for the Asheville plant.
The former Nypro facility already has a Class 100,000 clean room and the infrastructure of a plastics plant, such as resin silos and water piping.
``That made it a pretty easy move,'' said Barney Ottinger, president and founder.
Ottinger moved quickly when the Nypro plant became available.
``All of the pieces of the puzzle came together at one time. Then it was simply decision time: Do we go or don't we,'' he said.
The company's total investment in the facility is $3.5 million to $4 million, according to Ottinger.
John Hinner, Centrex vice president of sales and marketing, said the company serves the medical, electrical connector and business electronics markets.
``We see the Southeast as a very viable growth area,'' Hinner said. ``Companies are looking for precision molding.''
Ottinger founded Centrex in 1987 in Bellefonte, a small town in central Pennsylvania near State College. From 1980-1986, he had been at Ball Corp.'s Uni-mark Plastics Division in nearby Milroy, Pa., first as vice president of manufacturing, then as vice president of operations.
In Bellefonte, Centrex has two plants, each with 17 injection presses. One of the plants has a Class 100,000 clean room.
Centrex is the largest U.S. customer of Shinwa Seiki injection presses. After the North Carolina factory begins production, the custom molder will operate 39 Shinwa Seiki machines companywide. Shinwa Seiki's U.S. distributor is Methods Plastics Machinery of Sudbury, Mass.
Centrex expects to post 1995 sales of $10 million, Ottinger said. Hinner is the first sales executive for the company.
``We've grown very rapidly each year,'' Ottinger said in a telephone interview from Bellefonte Oct. 26. ``Up until the past couple of years we had doubled the business each year. The last few years we've grown by 30 percent a year.''
Scott White is vice president and general manager at the new plant. He has 20 years of injection molding experience in Asheville. Before joining Centrex, he ran operations and marketing at Atlas Precision Plastics and, prior to that, worked at GTE Asheville Plastics.
Hinner's plastics background includes positions at Minneapolis-based McKechnie Plastic Components and the former Component Technology Corp. of Erie, Pa.