Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. is starting a large expansion of its newer facility in Milton, Vt., shuttling more of its hot-runner operations to the site.
The Bolton, Ontario, equipment producer will spend close to US$13 million to expand capacity to make hot-runner systems, said Stephen Morris, vice president for hot runners. Manufacturing of hot-runner cold plates, currently performed at Husky's headquarters campus, will move to Milton once the expansion is finished, Morris said.
The Bolton campus plans to use the excess space to produce cores and cavities for its PET preform molds, said Husky spokesman Paul Thomson. Husky said it makes economic sense to segment its hot-runner operation in Vermont and its PET work in Bolton.
The Milton expansion will add 17,600 square feet. Husky has targeted a Sept. 1 completion date.
To free another 15,000 square feet, Husky will move its control manufacturing business to a temporary location in Milton, about five miles from the plant, Morris said. The firm said it may build a second, permanent facility in that area for its controls operation.
Plans call for Husky to add 50 workers during the next six months in Vermont and another 50 once business warrants it, Morris said. Currently the Milton plant employs about 400, he said.
Husky's hot-runner business continues to increase, predicating the need for the expansion. That business improvement goes against a continuing slump in the U.S. toolmaking market, he said.
``We're capitalizing on winning market share, not so much on [overall] market growth,'' Morris said. ``It's not the typical trend you're seeing nowadays.''
The Milton facility opened in September 1998. Husky also makes hot-runner components at its Dudelange, Luxembourg, plant.
The Ontario company issued financial figures March 11 for the second quarter and first half of fiscal 2003. Husky recorded US$334.3 million in sales for the first six months, up 39 percent from the same period a year ago. The company credited an increase in both PET molds and hot runners for the sales rise.