In its first year of operation, Advanced Plastic Technologies Inc. has made its mark in providing interior trim parts, clips and lenses for first-tier automotive suppliers such as H.P. Pelzer Auto Systems Inc. and UT Automotive Inc.
``We hope in about 5-6 months that we might be a Tier 1 [supplier] to one of the Big Three'' carmakers, Robert D. Lee, president, said in a telephone interview.
The company was formed in October 1996 to acquire the assets of distressed Ryan Plastics Inc. The purchase included five now-operating injection molding presses with clamping forces of 28-175 tons and the lease on an 8,000-square-foot Warren, Mich., plant. The lease expires in mid-1999.
Lee saw the space as too small and found an interim Detroit facility with 12,000 square feet for manufacturing, 3,500 square feet for material storage and 4,000 square feet for assembly.
``Eventually, we will look for a larger facility in the Detroit area,'' Lee said.
At the interim site, the firm operates six injection molding presses with clamping forces up to 350 tons.
``We plan to add three to four molding presses in the next six months or sooner,'' contingent on pending orders, Lee said.
Advanced Plastic Technologies operates two Control Laser marking machines to etch knobs, buttons and other parts and plans soon to acquire two more of the laser marking machines.
A South Korean developer of a plastic mirror has linked with Advanced for marketing and manufacturing of the product in the United States. The mirror is made with a specialized nylon thermoplastic.
``Ford and Chrysler are interested,'' Lee said.
The minority-owned and managed firm employs eight and had first-year sales of $332,526. Molding accounted for about 62 percent of the sales with laser marking as the next-largest category.