Minnesota Mold & Engineering Co. Inc. has completed a major expansion of its building to add injection molding services and provide quicker response times to customers.
The Vadnais Heights, Minn.-based company, a custom injection mold maker, has added 20,000 square feet to its existing site, said President Don Chlebeck. The company invested $1.5 million in the expansion, bringing the total facility size to 34,000 square feet, Chlebeck said.
A key to the expansion, completed in September, was the addition of four injection presses with clamping forces of 80-250 tons, he said. The presses, which will be used for sampling and qualifying molds before production, can perform high-pressure and thin-wall molding work.
The facility, in a suburb of St. Paul, Minn., needed to grow to meet the demands of customers for shorter lead times, Chlebeck said. Recently, the company has started offering four- to five-week lead times to build its complex molds, he said.
``Front-end engineering work and short time lines are critical,'' Chlebeck said in a telephone interview. ``Molds need to be designed quicker to market. Those that can do that are going to have the lion's share of the market.''
Minnesota Mold added 15 people during the expansion, bringing employment to 65. The company specializes in precision molds for medical products, hand tools, electronics and the automotive industry. The toolmaker recorded sales of about $10 million last year and expects to reach a similar level in 2002, Chlebeck said.