Florida custom thermoformer BK Plastics Industry Inc. plans to move 10 miles, expand a newly acquired building and add a three-station Drypol rotary machine.
Bruce Knecht started the business as a one-man shop in January 1997 and expects to have 1998 sales of $1.3 million.
``Conservatively, we're looking at $1.8 million next year,'' he said in a telephone interview.
BK leased an initial 2,500-square-foot bay in Port Richey, Fla., and, subsequently, took three more bays.
``Now, we're leasing 10,000 square feet, and we've outgrown the building,'' said Knecht, owner and president.
The business will relocate Dec. 15 to an expandable 12,000-square-foot facility on four acres in Odessa, Fla., and construct a 5,000-square-foot addition during mid-1999.
BK employs 11 to cover two 10-hour shifts, and Knecht expects to add five more people during 1999. While he's now doing ``a lot of the purchasing,'' Knecht said he hopes to delegate that function in this growth cycle.
He expects by February to take delivery of the Drypol with a 4-foot-by-6-foot bed.
Currently, BK uses two Lamco thermoforming machines, one with a 4-foot-by-8-foot bed and a 30-inch draw depth and the other with a 4-foot-by-6-foot bed and a 24-inch draw depth. Knecht continues to do the programming on two Milltronics computer numerically controlled machines.
Pressure-formed parts, accounting for 50 percent of BK's volume, include electronic enclosures including many medical-related parts and aircraft duct work and ventilation systems.
BK vacuum forms point-of-purchase displays, recreational vehicle parts, aftermarket door panels and aftermarket audio and video consoles for RVs and sport utility vehicles.
Prior to forming the business, Knecht held sales, engineering and mold-making positions with Solar Plastics Inc. of Tampa, Fla., for 12 years.
``I started out of college in tool and die,'' he said.
Thermoformer Triangle Plastics Inc. of Independence, Iowa, purchased Solar in December 1996.
Knecht credits his experience and industry word-of-mouth exchanges for the quick growth of the new business.