BOSTON — Mercer Molding Inc. broke ground recently on a 15,000-square-foot expansion that will almost double the size of the small custom injection molder.
The expansion will give Mercer 35,000 square feet when it is complete in four months, and is fueled by growth in several markets, including construction and consumer products, and business equipment, said Vice President George Lesenskyj. The firm also makes plastic lumber.
Mercer has added two injection presses — with 300 and 720 tons of clamping force — plus robots, giving it a total of 11 machines. As many as four more machines will be added in the next year, Lesenskyj said at Structural Plastics '99, held April 18-20 in Boston. Mercer's presses have clamping forces of 65-720 tons.
Mercer of Lawrenceville, N.J., near Trenton, is the molding division of Lawrence Mold and Tool Corp., a mold-making shop in the same city. The molding operation started six years ago as an outgrowth of its mold making, but now accounts for 60-70 percent of the $10 million in total annual sales, Lesenskyj said. The firm had been a tool shop since 1972.
``We set up the equipment just to test the molds,'' Lesenskyj said. ``But we said it was a shame to see that piece of equipment sitting idle until the next mold test.''
The company then started running products for customers whose own machines were full. Gradually, the firm started to do more molding, he said.
A mold-making background helps the firm with processing, he said. For example, one customer recently came to Mercer with six molds for a no-frills time clock. Mercer tested the six molds and ran a short run in a week, one-fourth the time the customer said its previous molder took to do the test, Lesenskyj said.
Lesenskyj co-owns the company with his brother Tony, who is president.