New business has prompted British rotational molder Oaklands Plastics Ltd. to expand its processing capacity and its workforce.
Oaklands invested £200,000 ($364,000) in a new, 111/2-foot Caccia shuttle molding machine and tooling, and is adding 12 employees to its staff of 28.
In September, the firm is due to add 11,000 square feet to its 10,000-square-foot plant area. Before the end of the year, Oaklands expects to buy another carousel machine, said Managing Director Stuart White.
The Coleshill, England-based company, formerly known as Rota-tub, just landed a £1.3 million ($2.36 million) contract to mold a range of faux cast-iron drainpipes and accessories for building products supplier Brett Martin Ltd. of Mallusk, Northern Ireland.
Oaklands, with annual sales of £2 million ($3.6 million), already runs three Alan Yorke 7.8-foot and 91/2-foot carousel rotomolding machines. The new Caccia machine is to start production in September.
In 1991, the small, family-run Rota-tub business started molding the sturdy mortar containers for the construction industry. In the next four years, growth was rapid.
Oaklands Plastics formed in 1995. It now molds not only the mortar containers, including crane lift bins, but also garden water features, classical drainage components and traffic management barriers.
``We have seen a huge increase in demand for our products and services. We are now looking to expand the company even further by exploring new markets,'' White said.
Other areas Oaklands is venturing into include rotomolded hot-tub spas and self-filling flood protection barriers.
``Many molders are specialists concentrating on their own products, whereas we try to move forward [into new markets] all the time. We are very busy at the moment,'' he said.
Oaklands received financial backing for its latest investment from British banking venture Lloyds TSB Corporate.