Lacerta Group Inc. is exploring thermoforming applications for NatureWorks LLC polylactide corn-based resin and shopping for a third roll-fed machine.
The custom thermoformer needs more production capability, wants to expand mold making and is growing in contract packaging, said President Ali Lotfi.
In late 2005, Lacerta started thermoforming prototype food and consumer packages made of PLA from Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks.
Lacerta recycles cartridges, tapes, CDs and DVDs for Disney, Warner and Universal, using some material and selling the rest.
In 2004, Lacerta moved from Boston to a 45,000-square-foot site in Mansfield, Mass., and began to invest more in thermoforming and packaging.
Lacerta paid nearly $400,000 for three more Fadal computer numerically controlled milling machines and Mastercam and SolidWorks software. The biggest unit has a 30-inch-by-60-inch machining area. Now, Lacerta operates four Fadals, two large L.R. Equipment machines and two smaller, sheet-fed machines.
Lacerta employs 35, including six mold makers. In 2005, it hired three designers and four people in mold making. The firm makes molds for other thermoformers.
Including tooling, thermoforming accounts for about 35 percent of Lacerta's business, recycling 40 percent and contract packaging 25 percent. Lofti did not provide sales figures, but said he expects 2006 sales to grow 15 percent over last year.
Mory Lotfi, Ali's brother, is vice president and a principal owner.