PTI Engineered Plastics Inc. is building a factory in Macomb Township, Mich., to replace its two smaller existing plants in Michigan.
PTI owner Mark Rathbone said the new plant will have about 105,000 to 115,000 square feet of space on the 9-acre site of a former farm.
PTI now has a total of about 75,000 square feet of space at its two plants, in Clinton Township, near Mount Clemens, Mich., and neighboring Shelby Township, near Utica.
The new plant will have a Class 100,000 clean room, with molding and assembly, said Rathbone, the chief executive officer. He said the developer would finish site preparation work in early May.
Rathbone, a mold maker, founded the company in 1984 as a prototyping house named Proto-Tech Industries. He changed the name to PTI Engineered Plastics in 1987 to reflect the firm's broader role.
Fast service, product development and engineering expertise remain PTI's hallmarks. The 31-toolmaker mold operation can turn out injection molds for prototypes in two to five weeks. The company makes more than 400 molds a year, Rathbone said.
PTI can do both functional prototypes, low-volume and high-volume molding - including soft-touch overmolding and micro- molding - on 34 injection presses, ranging in clamping force from 14-500 tons. Markets include automotive, medical, consumer products, electronics and defense.
PTI has been adding all-electric injection presses. Rathbone said the company has purchased four Toyo all-electric machines over the past two years, two 110-ton presses and two 55-tonners. Earlier this year, PTI also bought a 110-ton JSW all-electric.
For its mold-making operation, PTI also recently bought three high-speed Makino machining centers.
Rathbone outlined the company's expansion plants at the PTI booth during the National Design Engineering Show, part of National Manufacturing Week in Rosemont, March 21-23.
Competition against China was a common theme during National Manufacturing Week. Rathbone said PTI focuses on speed and a close working relationship with customers that includes trust on intellectual property issues.
``Can you compete with [China] on price? Well, no, you can't,'' Rathbone said.
PTI Engineered Plastics, which generates about $30 million in annual sales, employs 150.
Rathbone said the new Macomb Township plant will continue PTI's practice of suites where customers can set up an office to oversee product development work. Each office suite has its own dedicated injection presses, computers with Internet access, a fax machine and voice mail.
Since PTI makes molds in-house, it's easy to make changes to a mold during development, he said.