Custom injection molder Plastics Northwest Inc. plans to move its operations about 25 miles in February to Vancouver, Wash., and buy an eighth press.
``We were running out of space and power,'' Michael Martin, president and owner, said by telephone. He is buying a 720-ton LG and taking delivery at the new site. The company currently is based in Clackamas, Ore.
The firm signed a 10-year lease with the Port of Vancouver for 25,000 square feet of a 36,000-square-foot building and plans within four years to occupy the remainder of the space. The tax-supported port is making electrical upgrades of about $80,000. Plastics Northwest expects to pay $1 million over the term of the lease.
Until mid-2002, a distribution unit of Cleveland-based PolyOne Corp. used the building, adjacent resin silos and railroad siding.
More than 98 percent of the port's 2 million square feet of industrial space near the Columbia River currently is occupied, said David Blum, director of property and development.
Plastics Northwest employs 25, leases 17,000 square feet in Clackamas and operates seven Van Dorn, Mitsubishi and Asian Machinery Plastic injection molding machines with clamping forces of 100-500 tons. Plastics Northwest offers part design and secondary processes.
Martin anticipates hiring five to 10 workers during 2003. He established the business in 1990.
Martin has avoided relying on high-technology products such as those that original equipment makers pulled from nearby molders in recent years, hurting the region's plastics industry. ``We kept overhead down,'' he said.
Plastics Northwest molds first-aid boxes, forklift-attachment parts and other products.