Custom injection molder Falcon Plastics Inc. of El Paso, Texas, is upgrading its toolroom to full-mold-repair capability and adjusting to life as a free-standing business. The site is a former Casco Molded Plastics Inc. plant.
"We are trying to hire another mold maker," said Dan Holmes, engineering and tooling manager. "We have one mold maker and two toolmakers now."
Holmes recently was elected to a three-year term as vice president of the Society of Plastics Engineers chapter in Rio Grande, Texas.
Holmes said the toolroom has added a surface grinder, overhead electric crane and spot welder and is planning to buy an electric discharge machine.
Falcon employs 150 and operates 27 Reed, Milacron, Van Dorn, Engel and Arburg injection presses of 77-850 tons.
Major customer Eureka Co. of Bloomington, Ill., has seen change since last fall.
"Falcon has made considerable step-change improvements in how it is serving Eureka," said John Griffin, operations director for Eureka in El Paso.
Falcon makes plastic parts and subassemblies for all lines of Eureka vacuum cleaners. President Lee Hughes projects sales this year of more than $13.5 million, up significantly from last year.
A seven-person investment group in Arkansas City, Kan., acquired the business from Wichita, Kan.-based Casco in September, following a bankruptcy court auction.
The investors paid $2.4 million plus $700,000 to settle the leases held by secured creditor Nation's Bank on six of the larger molding machines.
Casco filed in November 1998 for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is no longer in business.
The El Paso plant operated throughout the process and is anticipating a pre-assessment audit in advance of ISO 9002 registration.
"The core employees all stayed through the bankruptcy," said Hughes, who had been Casco's general manager.