Imperial Custom Molding Inc. is investing more than $1 million in the first half of this year to buy 10 new presses and expand its thermoset injection molding business. Two of the new machines, including a Nissei press with 200 tons of clamping force, already are operating at the firm's Rogers, Minn., plant.
According to Steve Jenkins, vice president of new business development, the new machinery will fit in the firm's current locations. Imperial has a 132,000-square-foot facility and leases two smaller buildings within three miles of the plant.
The company employs nearly 300 and plans to add 30-40 workers.
Jenkins said the expansion is designed to keep up with changes that have occurred under the leadership of William Hassell.
Hassell, a Hewlett-Packard Co. veteran, took over as president of the 25-year-old firm three years ago. He divided the company into two teams, with Hassell heading the productivity and manufacturing side, and Jenkins leading the growth team.
"We had to first change the corporate culture," Jenkins said. "We are more team-oriented now."
For example, Imperial linked its computer systems with customers' systems, to manage inventory and forecast upcoming needs.
"We actually perform the purchasing," said Jenkins, who noted that an Imperial employee is on site with the customer to manage the account.
Jenkins said the company has 79 machines: 49 thermoplastic and 25 thermoset presses, and three blow molding machines.
"Thermoset has grown to be a much greater part of our business," Jenkins said.
Sales were $22.5 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $21 million the year before.
Imperial Custom Molding is ISO 9001 and QS 9000 registered.