Injection molder Continental Plastics Co. has been busy.
The firm recently acquired a plant that does sewing and cutting, and is considering an expansion of its plant in Chesterfield Township, Mich., near Mount Clemens.
The company, headquartered in Fraser, Mich., completed an acquisition of a cutting and sewing facility Nov. 1. Continental bought the assets of an undisclosed Benzonia, Mich., company when it went out of business. The firm had supplied one of Continental's customers, Russ Thomas, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a telephone interview.
The 56,000-square-foot facility has 75 sewing stations and 20 wrapping stations. Continental retained the 150 employees, stressing the importance of a ``seasoned work force.''
In addition, Continental hopes to build a new, 50,000-square-foot facility across the street from its existing, 100,000-square-foot plant in Chesterfield Township. Thomas said Continental is waiting to see if it will win a couple of pending contracts to help fund the expansion. The company should know within the next quarter. Thomas estimated the cost of the expansion at $1.5 million.
The Chesterfield Township plant currently has 20 injection presses with clamping forces of 200-750 tons. Thomas said Continental will buy six or seven additional presses, with clamping forces of 1,000 tons and greater.
He estimates the new machines will add as much as $15 million in annual sales to the plant's current $35 million to $40 million a year. Continental also will hire 50-55 people with the expansion, adding to its current total of 200 employees.
Continental's corporate headquarters facility in Fraser also is buying six more 1,000-ton presses. That facility now has 16 presses with clamping forces of 1,000-2,000 tons.
Thomas quoted the total capital investment for the presses at $3 million.
The 204,000-square-foot home office employs 250. Continental also has a 130,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta that employs 185 and operates seven 2,200-ton presses.
Until 1998, Continental had served mostly carmakers. Thomas said the company now wants to serve Tier 1 suppliers in both automotive and nonautomotive industries. Other markets Continental serves include computers and business machines, packaging and consumer products.
Continental continues to serve Chrysler Corp., which gave the molder a Chrysler Pentastar award in 1998. Continental reported 1998 sales of $113 million, up from $105 million in 1997.