Industry knowledge and customer encouragement helped launch injection molder Chesapeake Plastics Manufacturing Inc. in recent months.
Co-owners Mark McGrath and Steven Moore moved from an initial concept in late July to processing of plastics three months later. ``We are already planning to expand by the end of our first fiscal year,'' McGrath said. The principals have invested more than $300,000 for new and used equipment.
Moore developed a business plan while McGrath secured a customer base. CPM specializes in providing support to Defense Department contractors and also targets niches for marine products such as boat and dock accessories and aftermarket automotive accessories.
McGrath and Moore worked together at another Maryland company for about nine years but are precluded under a legal agreement from discussing that firm's dissolution. Customers supported the decision to establish CPM and now form a core for the business. ``We had contracts before we had a building,'' McGrath said.
CPM is scheduled for ISO 9000:2000 certification in early 2004.
The company took occupancy of 5,000 square feet in Lusby's waterfront Ship Point Industrial Park in late September, but the repercussions from Hurricane Isabel delayed production until late October. ``Our setup contractors and electricians and riggers were tied up with storm emergencies,'' McGrath said. CPM has an option on another 5,000 square feet for lease when needed.
CPM employs seven and operates five injection molding machines of 30-500 tons. Each machine has mobile wireless technology for real-time statistical process control.
CPM has in-house secondary operations for part machining and decoration, and local partners for design work and mold building.
The Calvert County Economic Development Authority provided a low-interest, $75,000 loan, and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development awarded a $15,000 industrial training grant - a first in the state's southern region.
The Waldorf, Md., office of Branch Banking & Trust Co. provided CPM with start-up operating capital.
As of Dec. 17, CPM had contracts for work worth more than $600,000 and was projecting first-year sales of $900,000 to $1 million, McGrath said.