In response to increasing customer demand, the Thermotech division of Menasha Corp. in Hopkins, Minn., has leased a 50,000-square-foot building in El Paso, Texas; it also is continuing its expansion at two other sites. Division President Robert Radunz said extensive renovation is under way at the El Paso plant, with plans to open the custom injection molding facility this quarter. It will process engineering-grade thermoplastics and thermosets.
Radunz said the company's customer base along the border has been asking Thermotech to put a plant in the area for several years. The El Paso plant will serve customers in the electronics, automotive and electrical industries.
Initially, the plant will have 11 injection molding machines and about 20 employees, operating on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week schedule. The company plans for the El Paso operation eventually to have 50-60 molding machines with clamping forces of 80-300 tons, possibly extending as high as the 600-ton range, Radunz said.
The plant will employ 100-150.
Other services the companywill offer in El Paso include various secondary operations and mold maintenance and repair. New mold design, engineering and mold building will continue to be done through the Minnesota facility.
In addition to the Hopkins plant, Thermotech operates molding facilities in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will receive a 12,000-square-foot addition to its manufacturing area to accommodate growth there, and in Monson, Mass.
Thermotech operates 160 molding machines company-wide, with clamping forces of 40-550 tons.
Thermotech recently completed a 52,000-square-foot addition to its Hopkins facility. Radunz said the company continues to add and upgrade equipment.
``On an average this year we'll be putting in at least 20 machines between the St. Petersburg and Hopkins facilities,'' Radunz said. ``Some will be additional capacity and some replacement machinery.''
In addition to the electronics, automotive and electrical industries, Thermotech is a major supplier to the medical industry, and employs about 600 companywide.