Regency Plastics Inc. has increased floor space by a third at its Ubly, Mich., plant to head off the possibility of overcrowding.
During the past year, the Ubly-based company has purchased six new extrusion blow molding machines to take advantage of new business in its core automotive and consumer-products markets, said Clifford Braun, general manager. However, the added equipment has taxed warehouse space.
``The company had picked up several new customers and needed new equipment,'' Braun said. ``That's what caused the overcrowding. We were maxed out and had a warehouse packed full. Now, we have room for future expansion.''
The industrial blow molder, owned by Gemini Group Inc. of Bad Axe, Mich., has grown steadily during the past year. Sales reached $18.7 million for the most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, vs. sales of $17.6 million the year before.
For the recent expansion, the company added 22,500 square feet of space for warehousing and 3,750 square feet of office space, Braun said. The new molding lines were shifted to the former warehouse site.
The cost of the expansion, completed in October after a five-month construction period, was not disclosed.
The plant now covers almost 69,000 square feet. It also underwent an expansion four years ago that doubled its size, Braun said.
Currently, the facility has 18 blow molding machines, including the six new dual-accumulator-head machines, and four vertical insert molding machines, each with a clamping force of 125 tons. The facility employs about 150, according to Braun.
The company molds seat-belt boots and air ducts for Big Three automakers and several Tier 1 suppliers, he said.
In addition, Regency makes floor scrubber tanks and other home-care and lawn and garden products.
Regency, which employs 265, also operates blow molding plants in El Paso and McAllen, Texas. It has a total of 42 extrusion blow molding machines companywide.
It processes a variety of thermoplastics, including low density polyethylene, nylon and polypropylene.