CHULA VISTA, CALIF. — Custom injection molder Nypro San Diego Inc. is doubling its space to make tools and molds, establishing a mold maker apprenticeship program and celebrating the recent ISO 9002 certification of the plant. ``We are building nine molds internally and have a few farmed out,'' said Thomas Opielowski, general manager. ``We are extremely busy in that area.''
Toolmaking at the facility began in January 1995 and parallels emphasis on the process at sister Nypro Inc. plants elsewhere. Consolidating a portion of the manufacturing area yielded enough room for Nypro San Diego to double tool and mold operations to 6,000 square feet. The facility has seven toolmakers, seeks two more and hopes to reach a total of 15-20 over two years, Opielowski said.
In October, the U.S. Labor Department approved Nypro's plan for an apprenticeship program. On-the-job training will occur at Nypro, with the academic portion held at San Diego Community College District's City College.
``We have difficulty getting skilled mold makers,'' Opielowski said.
The San Francisco office of the department's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training approved a Nypro program of 8,000 and 10,000 hours.
Courses at City College will teach computer numerically controlled programming, and computer-aided design and manufacturing.
Nypro San Diego employs 85 and recorded sales of $8.2 million for the year ended June 30.
The previous year's figure was $8.5 million. Opielowski sees growth this year through ``a couple of major programs, mostly medical'' with companies in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area.
Medical and electronics markets each take about 40 percent of the highly automated, close-tolerance, continuous molding output. The remainder goes to the consumer industrial market. The firm operates 14 Nestals, five Toshibas, an Engel and a Ferromatik. It recently added a Mitsubishi CNC electric discharge machine and a new machining center.
Nypro San Diego performs tool design, engineering and high-tech molding in Chula Vista. It forwards about 40 percent to its sister maquiladora Ensambles Ny-pro SA de CV, which employs 400, for assembly in Tijuana, Mexico.
Nypro San Diego is a subsidiary of employee-owned Nypro Inc. of Clinton, Mass., which has 24 molding and assembly operations and joint ventures in North America, Europe and Asia. It reported sales for the fiscal year ended June 30 of $233.9 million, up from $196.7 million in the previous year.
In January, the Nypro San Diego board of directors will review capital availability to build a plant. Nypro Inc.'s funding priorities elsewhere have slowed implementation, but Krommenhoek McKeown & Associates completed architectural plans for a 100,000-square-foot plant. Construction could begin in March on 7 acres in a nearby industrial park.