NEW BRIGHTON, MINN. —Fast-growing Donatelle Plastics Inc. of New Brighton breaks ground this month for an 85,000-square-foot facility with injection molding and mold-making capabilities. The existing plant is next door.
``The key to our business growth is being flexible'' and having ``enough plant capacity to handle whatever surges'' occur, Thomas Caron, sales and marketing manager, said in a telephone interview. ``We have been adding because of aggressive growth over the past five years.''
This fall the company expects to move into the plant, which can be expanded on the 5-acre tract. Keeping operations under one roof is a priority.
Donatelle reported 1997 sales of $16 million, up from the previous year's $11 million. Employment rose to 130 from 100 during that period. Increased demand for several products, primarily medical, was the driver.
Donatelle is doubling the capacity of the toolroom, now employing 25 in concurrent engineering, computer-aided design and in-house mold making.
The firm operates 29 injection presses with clamping forces of 30-200 tons for molding close-tolerance medical products ranging from ``implantables to disposables,'' Caron said. Other markets include electronics and industrial.
Donatelle adds four to eight machines yearly, placing the equipment orders as output approaches 70 percent of production capacity.
In continuing a current capability, the new facility will have a white room that is upgradable to a clean room, if needed. The firm operates now in a 32,000-square-foot plant and also owns a nearby warehouse of 30,000 square feet.