Custom Plastics Ltd. plans to build a facility to house its growing thermoforming, composites and assembly operations.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, processor intends to build a 60,000-square-foot facility in nearby Ladner, said President Roger Miller. Its current thermoforming operation in Vancouver is ``bursting at the seams'' and Custom might want to install a space-consuming rotary thermoforming machine, Miller said in a telephone interview.
Custom will spend about C$3 million (US$2.1 million) on the building and 31/2 acres of land. It will break ground in March and expects to move into the new facility by October. Its current, 40,000-square-foot thermoforming plant has an inefficient layout, according to Miller. The company also runs a separate glass-fiber-reinforced polyester plant, and rents space for assembly.
Custom specializes in heavy-gauge pressure and vacuum forming for transportation, marine, construction and other industries. Miller said some jobs, such as a truck part it makes, involve a thermoformed shell reinforced by FRP backing, also made by Custom. The firm mainly processes ABS sheet but works with other materials too, including ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene, and polycarbonate.
Custom recently installed its third five-axis computer numerically controlled router and might buy more to give each of its five single-stage production lines its own router. The firm's routing capability has helped to boost sales, especially in U.S. markets, Miller said. Exports could account for 40 percent of its 1998 sales, he said. Last year it did about C$5 million (US$3.6 million) in total thermoforming business.
Custom will house thermoforming and FRP under one roof, but the operations will be separated to prevent any contamination. Its secondary operations include mold making and coating.