Rapid prototyping specialist 3D Systems Corp. is moving to South Carolina and consolidating its headquarters and production under one roof to save money and set up shop closer to customers.
The firm will move the bulk of its North American operations to Rock Hill, S.C., closing its Valencia, Calif., headquarters and manufacturing in Grand Junction, Colo.
The new location should be staffed and operational by Sept. 30, 2006, executives noted in a Nov. 3 conference call. The site will be about half the size of the existing two facilities combined, recognizing improved production efficiency, said Abe Reichental, president and chief executive officer. However, the 24-acre site will have room to expand.
``We have undertaken this program with a number of important objectives,'' Reichental said.
The move will save the firm about $2.5 million in 2007 alone from lower personnel-related costs and lower property costs. Reichental said he expects many of the 145 employees spread between the two current facilities will move with their jobs.
The company will retain a small research and development office in Valencia, which is about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.
3D Systems makes three-dimensional printing systems, stereolithography and selective laser sintering units, along with its own proprietary thermoplastics and composites used to make prototypes and master patterns for specialized manufacturing.
The site brings 3D closer to customers in the eastern United States and Europe. York Technical College in Rock Hill will build a training center next to 3D headquarters for workers and customers. The first employees will move into a temporary office by year's end.
``We have thought through every potential downside risk and have a mitigation plan to deal with it,'' Reichental said.
The firm saw 10 percent sales growth for the first nine months of 2005, with $95.5 million in sales through Sept. 30. Profit for the period was $2.4 million, up from a $2 million loss a year earlier.