Carthuplas adding 10 Netstal presses
KENNEBUNK, MAINE - Media packaging supplier Carthuplas Inc. plans to increase capacity soon, adding 10 Netstal injection molding machines with 500-600 tons of clamping force. The plant's current 20 presses range from 300-350 tons.
``We are expanding this year [and] may need more building space in 2003,'' said Peter W. Ciriello, chief executive officer.
Carthuplas is investing nearly $10 million for the presses, other equipment and tools. The firm will begin making cases for digital versatile discs and is increasing jewel-box molding and adding some packaging machines, he said in a telephone interview.
The firm will begin production of 21/2-millimeter-thick Clip Tray packages, which consist of a plastic tray with a paper cover for use as a compact-disc mailer for Internet service providers, in retail applications or as a jewel-box replacement case. In addition to Netstal presses, the Clip Tray product uses WM tools from Switzerland and an Ilsemann packaging machine from Germany. The equipment will arrive in late April.
Carthuplas in Kennebunk employs about 50 and recorded 2001 sales of about $18 million. Its parent, Cartonneries de Thulin SA of Thulin, Belgium, employs about 200 and has production sites in Thulin and Muri, Switzerland. Cartonneries purchased the Maine operation in December 2000 for $2.3 million in acquiring the polystyrene-related business of Shape Global Technology Inc. through a bankruptcy sale.
Ciriello stabilized the business in 2001 and aims to achieve growth this year through new products and increased use of automated equipment and continuous manufacturing improvements.
Automated technology is the ``only way we can compete with China,'' he said. ``We must make the operation as automated as possible.''
Busy Quake faces possible expansion
BELGRADE, MONT. - Injection molder Quake Industries Inc. has too many proprietary and custom orders and too little capacity.
``We have not felt the recession at all,'' Ron Pierzina, vice president and co-owner, said by telephone from Belgrade. ``We have been almost inundated with business'' and, in some cases, the firm has lost available custom jobs for lack of capacity.
Quake has farmed out four jobs with small-tonnage requirements and may decide by late April on adding another injection molding press. In January, Quake expanded by moving from its 8,000-square-foot site to a nearby, 22,000-square-foot site and began using a newly acquired, 330-ton Roboshot. Quake also operates two other presses with clamping forces of 165 and 220 tons.
Employment reached 22 with the recent addition of two workers.
Quake had 2001 sales of $1.5 million, and Pierzina said this year's sales may approach $2 million. He and his wife, Laura, the company's president, started Quake in 1990.
The firm's proprietary lines include rifle and shotgun slings, Claw-brand game-bag straps and long-gun and optic accessories.
``We can't keep up with the bump up in orders,'' he said, and May marks the firm's busy season.