Custom injection molder Specialty Plastics Inc. is adding blow molding to its repertoire.
The company added a Rocheleau machine with a 1-pound shot to accommodate a current automotive customer, according to Michael Couvion, vice president of the St. Peters-based company. The firm is hoping the new equipment will fill a niche in the St. Louis area.
``We have the health product area earmarked for growth, but this also does open up a lot of other business,'' he said. Specialty Plastics started blow molding in late December.
The company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, does a lot of work in the heating and air conditioning area, making such items as motor housings, fans and fan housings. It also does automotive, health-care and electronics work. In the leisure market, it makes archery accessories and is developing new proprietary products this year.
Specialty Plastics generated about $5 million in sales a year ago and is expecting to hit $5.5 million this year, according to Couvion. It has 50 employees and operates in a 35,000-square-foot facility. The company has 19 injection molding presses, with 35-400 tons of clamping force. The firm recently added a new 35-ton all-electric press. It completed accreditation for ISO 9001: 2000 last year.
Couvion said Specialty was started in 1980 as a side venture by his father, Mike Couvion, the firm's president.
``My father started with a 5-ton and it would run all day in our basement. My mother would check it while my father was at work,'' Couvion said.
A couple more machines were added in the garage and then they rented more space, he said. The company kept growing until it moved into a 10,000-square-foot space in 1990. It has expanded twice since then.
Specialty has been a family operation ever since. Michael and three of his siblings - Michelle, Mellisa and Matthew - are involved in the company, along with their father.