Injection molder Acromatic Plastics has spent $7.5 million to move into a new plant that more than doubles its size, and the firm is considering building a facility dedicated to medical manufacturing.
Acromatic, in Leominster, Mass., moved into a 110,000-square-foot facility in November, which the company hopes will give it room to grow as new business comes in. It employs 75.
The $8 million custom molder could have grown last year, but was limited by lack of space at the company's previous factory, a 47,000-square-foot operation, also in Leominster, said Peter Crisci, president and chief executive officer. The company primarily serves industrial, consumer, automotive and medical markets.
``Most of my customers have been growing in size and generating new business,'' he said. ``One of the things that has hurt me, especially from the automotive standpoint, is I just didn't have the room to handle it.''
Acromatic occupies about half of the new plant, and did not add injection molding equipment in the expansion, remaining at 21 presses. But the firm replaced three machines, added robots and made other efficiency-boosting investments, like building underground systems for resin handling, Crisci said.
Beyond organic growth, the company is looking at buying or merging with other firms, and is in talks with several companies.
The firm had about $12 million in sales in the late 1990s, but lost some automotive projects and has held steady at about $8 million since, he said.
Acromatic also is considering building a medical manufacturing facility next to the new plant, on 6.4 acres of land it hopes to buy from the city of Leominster.
Acromatic wants to segregate its medical work in a Class 10,000 clean room because ``this is really what the medical people want to see,'' he said. That plant would likely not be built before 2006.
The medical device industry in Massachusetts is growing, and Crisci said he believes there is a shortage of good medical molders in the region. The company makes medical parts, including some components of implantable devices, at its new plant, he said.
``I see it as a more profitable market because there aren't that many people out there who can mold medical products,'' Crisci said.