CORONA, CALIF. — Short-lead-time mold maker Advanced Tool Technology Inc. of Corona has invested more than $675,000 in equipment and increased employment to 36 from 30 since October.
The purchases included a Brother 5100 wire electrical discharge machine, a Charmilles 20A computer numerically controlled sinker EDM and a Mitutoyo A710 coordinate measuring machine.
``Our customer base has increased greatly in the last year,'' said Tom Shappie, president. ``Some only have an occasional need, while others are continually having us build tools for them.''
Generally, the tools are used to mold computer components, medical devices, automotive parts and consumer products. Sales totaled $3.6 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, up from $3.5 million in the previous fiscal year.
Since early 1998, the firm has focused on supplying hardened tooling in 4-6 weeks, although it does offer longer lead times. So far, reducing delivery times has not boosted profits, Shappie said.
``We are learning every day how to become more efficient, and in doing so we are becoming more profitable.''
Advanced Tool Technology occupies 12,000 square feet but anticipates relocating next year to a larger facility.