Gulf Coast Wire Products Inc. of Kaplan, La., has acquired its first injection molding machine and is looking at buying another.
The new capability may generate more injection molding jobs than expected, President Daniel Duchamp said by telephone.
Duchamp had anticipated expanding next summer, but now is looking at a second press in addition to the 170-ton Van Dorn Demag. He had planned to commit about 60 percent of the press's capacity to in-house work and market the remaining time.
Using in-house engineered equipment, Gulf Coast applies, and oven-cures, powdered PVC resin on fence wire and assembles a proprietary line of crawfish traps. Gulf Coast also sells coated wire to others making commercial lobster and crab traps. The polymer prevents corrosion of the units, which are submerged in salt or fresh water. Other customers make units to house poultry, small animals or birds.
Duchamp uses some plastic parts on the traps and grew weary of hand-making items suited for injection molding. In one case, Gulf Coast cut PVC pipe into cylinders to make grab bars on crawfish traps.
The firm is paying about $200,000 for the press, Conair auxiliary equipment and molds from Southern Die Mold in Shreveport, La., Duchamp said.
Gulf Coast was formed in 1987, employs five and occupies an 18,000-square-foot plant and an adjacent 10,000-square-foot warehouse. Gulf Coast had 1997 sales of about $575,000.