Custom thermoformer Computer Designs Inc. will build a plant in High Point, N.C., a decision reached sooner than intended.
In February, the Whitehall, Pa.-based company leased a 16,000-square-foot plant in High Point, with the goal to looking for a larger building during the next two years.
``We had some major customers in [North Carolina] to begin with,'' sales executive Chuck Ortwein said Jan. 16 by phone. ``But the area is very big for medical parts, and we decided an expansion was needed sooner.''
Computer Designs has purchased 5 acres of land and will construct a 38,000-square-foot facility. The plant, expected to open by the end of 2004, will include an area segmented for medical thermoforming and will perform work for Computer Design customers in consumer and electronic packaging, Ortwein said.
The current leased facility will remain open, at least for a short time, after the new plant is running, he said. The company plans to thermoform medical trays and packaging at the new site. The facility also will produce electronics trays, and clamshells and blister packaging for consumer products. The company primarily uses PVC and glycol-modified PET.
The new facility will start with at least two thin-gauge thermoforming lines from DT/Sencorp, with several more expected in 2005, Ortwein said. The plant also is considering adding a smaller, form-and-trim machine from Sencorp specifically for blister packages, he added.
The leased site also has two thermoforming lines and about 10 employees, Ortwein said. Employee numbers and investment costs at the new facility still must be determined as the project gets under way.
The 15-year-old firm expects to continue its growth pace, after recording a 17 percent increase in sales last year to about $8.1 million, Ortwein said. The facility has the space to add another 25,000 square feet in High Point to accommodate growth, he said.