Advantage Manufacturing Corp. is expanding its Friendship, Tenn., custom injection molding plant in anticipation of growth. Advantage is building a 16,800-square-foot addition at a cost of about $350,000, according to President Robert Fein. It now has 28,000 square feet of space but it needs more room for warehousing and assembly, the latter is a service it has begun to offer to its clients. Fein said the addition should be completed by mid-June.
The company was established in 1993 when Tupperware Corp. closed its nearby Halls, Tenn., molding plant. Fein said in a telephone interview that Tupperware was its first, and for a while, its largest customer, but Tupperware has since brought most of its molding in-house. Advantage now molds for appliance, furniture, hospital supply, housewares and automotive manufacturers.
Earlier this year Advantage added a new, 120-ton Toshiba injection press at Friendship, boosting its press count to 15. Last year it bought two 500-ton Nissei machines. The firm's clamp tonnage ranges from 120-700 tons.
Advantage did about $5 million in sales last year and recorded profit for the second year in a row. It employs about 70 but soon will boost that to 80 people, to accommodate the surge in orders that occurs in the third and fourth quarters of the year. Fein expects sales to climb 10 percent this year through more business with existing customers.
Fein is the majority shareholder in Advantage, with the rest held by employees, some of whom were with Tupperware before it closed the Halls facility.