NASHVILLE, TENN. — Nearly two years ago, Concept Industries Inc. purchased Prestige Plastics Inc. of Holland, Mich.
Now the company is gearing up to consolidate its operations.
Prestige, now known as the thermoforming division of Concept, plans to move next month to a new, 140,000-square-foot building near Concept's headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich. Currently, the thermoforming division leases a 70,000-square-foot building and employs 35.
Consolidating all operations at two buildings in one location will help the company better pool its resources, said Concept President Shawn Eshragh.
``We will focus on our customers' needs and provide research and development for customers and focus on different material,'' he said.
The firm will run seven thermoforming machines and three compression molding machines, and plans to expand next year.
Custom Manufacturers Inc. is installing the first thermoforming machine in the new plant, Brad Moore, sales manager for CMI, said in an interview at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division conference and exposition, held Sept. 19-22 in Nashville.
The machine, a four-station rotary with two ovens for twin-sheet capability, has a mold area of 6 feet by 8 feet. In addition, it is completely customized, has electric platens and electric rotation using variable-speed motion. CMI is based in Gladwin, Mich.
Eshragh declined to reveal the amount invested in the new plant.
Concept thermoforms mainly ABS and polyethylene into parts for the furniture, automotive and medical industries. About 10 people will be added to the staff at the new building.
``Part of the building is for employee training,'' Eshragh added. ``Training and employee development are the keys to meeting the challenges of the coming century.''
The company is QS 9000 certified and considers itself a company driven by engineering.
``We integrate the engineering process up front,'' Eshragh said. ``We're focused on the customer and want to bring them strong quality and design.''
Founded in 1984, Concept manufactured dunnage packaging, then moved to returnable packaging. Later, the company designed and fabricated sound barriers for doors and gaskets using die-cutting machinery.
``We do not have tunnel vision,'' Eshragh said. ``We use plastic, foam, corrugated or any other material — whatever works for the customer.''
Also moving to Grand Rapids is Prestige Tooling and Engineering, another division of Concept that had been part of Prestige Plastics.
Concept Industries reported sales of $12 million last year. Of that, thermoforming sales represented $5.8 million, placing the firm at No. 85 in Plastics News' ranking of North American thermoformers.