Micromolder Makuta Technics Inc. plans to spend $4 million on a new facility that will double its manufacturing size and beef up its capabilities in automated assembly and mold making.
Makuta, in Columbus, Ind., announced Oct. 26 that it plans to relocate its operations to the new injection molding plant, about 20 miles away in Shelbyville, Ind., in the fall of 2006.
The move will boost its capabilities in making components the size of a human hair for medical devices, electronics and other products.
The plant will include a clean room and separate manufacturing cells for its medical, automotive, electronics and multimaterial work, and will let the company begin to manufacture molds that now are made in Asia, said President Stu Kaplan.
While details are being worked out and groundbreaking for the new plant will not take place until early 2006, the facility will roughly double the size of its current 12,000-square-foot plant, to about 25,000 square feet.
Makuta has 19 presses, and over time will double that, Kaplan said.
Medical work is driving the growth, said engineering manager Drew Easter. The company said it recently secured a contract to manufacture a microfluidics medical-device component that needs four openings, each about one-fourth the thickness of a human hair, for testing fluids.
Makuta's growth is being driven by ``the combination of the scientific and technical developments, along with the drive to make things smaller, lighter and easier to deal with,'' Kaplan said.
The expansion also will let the firm bring mold making in-house. Its molds currently are made in Asia by its Japanese sister company, Sansyu Group.
Sansyu is owned by Kaplan's father-in-law, Makuta by Kaplan. Beyond the family ties, the two firms have technology-transfer arrangements, Kaplan said.
Makuta runs a lights-out operation for its second and third shifts, and the new plant will let it expand automated, post-molding assembly operations, Easter said.
The company employs 17 and plans to add 15 more within two years.