Pro Mold & Die completed its move late last month into a new, 37,000-square-foot facility, custom-built for the company at a cost of about $2.5 million. Walter Schaub, partner in the mold-making company in Roselle, Ill., said the company combined operations formerly in three separate buildings that had a total of 14,000 square feet. In addition to the building site, Pro Mold acquired two adjacent acres for future expansion.
``We don't want to move again,'' Schaub said, ``so we made the building big enough to service our needs for the foreseeable future.''
The building includes a steel-impregnated concrete floor touted as five times harder than regular concrete, with a special surface coating that resists erosion and damage from metal chips.
The company also made use of skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
The company also installed four overhead cranes with up to 15 tons of lift capability.
Schaub said the company plans to immediately add a computer numerically controlled machining center with a 30-inch-by-60-inch platen, and a servo-driven coordinate measuring machine. Also planned is the addition of a wire electric discharge machine and a vertical machining center dedicated to electrode machining.
Pro Mold operates 11 computer-aided design and manufacturing workstations, including Computervision CADS-5, CADkey and Smart CAM.
Pro Mold serves the automotive industry, specializing in molds for forward lighting and tight-toleranced fine-mesh speaker grilles. Other key markets include consumer and medical products.
The company also builds die-cast tools, and specializes in molds for thermoset injection molding.
This year the company began building molds for multicolor injection molding.
Pro Mold employs 43, but Schaub plans to have about 60 workers by the end of 1996. Schaub said recruiting is a constant effort and he works closely with the local colleges to get engineering graduates that he can slot into mold design.
Schaub has new engineering employees spend two years on the shop floor in order to learn the mold-making business and what it takes to build a mold.
``It works out better if they understand what people on the shop floor go through,'' he said.
``This business is beyond taking people off the street and turning them into engineers,'' he said. ``We don't have time to train someone for five or 10 years as a mold maker then grow them into engineers.''