Rod Roth is happiest operating his own molding facility, which is why he and two partners recently opened R&D Plastics LLC in Hillsboro, Ore. Roth grew up in the injection molding industry. His father, Merrill Roth, co-owned and operated Grant & Roth Co. in Hills-boro. Rod Roth was president in 1989 when the firm was sold to Automatic Technologies Inc.
At that time, Roth went to work at Quality Plastics Inc. in New-berg, Ore.
But his heart remained with the idea of owning his own custom molding business.
Roth found two partners, both former employees at Grant & Roth. Partner Sal Gonzalez has more than 20 years experience in injection molding, the last 10 with Puget Corp. of Portland, Ore., where he supervised production.
Partner Jane Evensen also has more than 20 years experience in custom molding. She is R&D's systems manager.
The trio hosted four open houses last month at their 10,000-square-foot, leased plant. R&D in-stalled four new Toshiba presses - two with 120 tons of clamping force, one 190-tonner and one 250-tonner. They also bought a used 570-ton Toshiba press.
Although Roth is optimistic about his new venture, his plans for growth remain conservative.
``We want to keep the business small, employing about 15 people the first year, 30 after the second year, and staying in our 10,000-square-foot plant,'' Roth said.
``We're aiming at a target group of customers in the medical, dental, transportation and high-tech industries,'' Roth said.