Responding to a recent shift upward in its mold-making business, Hi-Tech Molding & Tooling has purchased a nearby building and plans to double its manufacturing square footage.
The company will move its toolmaking operation to the new plant and keep injection molding in its current location, said Tom Beddoe, president of the company in Lilburn, Ga., near Atlanta.
``Tooling has been growing by leaps and bounds,'' Beddoe said in an Oct. 22 telephone interview. ``Buying an existing building was just perfect for us. We bought it months ago with the idea of moving some of our processes in there this fall.''
Recently, the firm has seen a major upswing in tooling work, starting about $700,000 in new projects from existing and new customers, Beddoe said. Hi-Tech expects sales to reach about $6.5 million this year, he said.
The company currently operates a 26,000-square-foot plant, about half of which is used for custom molding. Its products include front-end electronic bezels and circuit-board housings, cosmetic medical parts, panel fasteners, handles for the food-service market and door and window parts.
Hi-Tech invested about $1 million to buy the new, 25,000-square-foot building and will add new machining centers and other equipment costing about $750,000 initially, Beddoe said. The company plans to move into the site within the next six weeks. Hi-Tech plans to add 10 employees with the move. Currently, the company employs 38.
The company has changed its processes to shorten lead times for tooling, a move Beddoe credits for helping to increase business. Many of its multicavity molds are made within five weeks, he said.
``Anybody can build a good tool,'' Beddoe said. ``It's the time frame that matters.''
On the molding side, Hi-Tech recently added three new presses with clamping forces of 110-150 tons, and may buy several 400-ton presses within the next year.