GLOUCESTER, MASS. — After an estimated $2 million refurbishing of its captive injection molding department in Gloucester, LePage's Inc. has its plastic dispensers rolling again.
``It was a case of upgrade or be out of business,'' said Gary Dean, president of LePage's, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of private-label retail adhesive tapes.
He noted that old injection molding equipment and worn molds had made dispenser production a difficult task.
``We make millions of rolls of tape, so it is important to us not to have to worry about the dispensers,'' said Dean.
Advanced Corporate Technology of Gardner, Mass., handled the redesign. The project took place in the second half of 1998 and the company has been at full production for about six months.
Seven Milacron Inc. Vista Toggle VT molding machines were added, said James Baker, principal and chief engineer at ACT. He said the project began with a productivity-improvement assessment.
Baker said LePage's required a number of upgrades, starting with incoming power from the street, air, material-storage and delivery systems. Tower and chiller water systems were replaced. The firm designed a new floor plan and a new material flow layout.
Baker expects the company to make a return on the investment in less than two years.
Dean said LePage's business is seasonal, but it employs 100-150. Its Gloucester complex has more than 100,000 square feet of space.