Pyramid Mold & Tool made a big jump in size last year, growing from a 10,000-square-foot site in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., to one more than three times as big.
Now the firm is beginning to fill that 31,000-square-foot space. It has a new wire electric discharge machine in place, a computer numerically controlled grinder on order, and it plans to launch an in-house prototyping plant with up to three injection molding presses within the next year.
``As a businessman, I believe it's important to explore opportunities,'' said Steve Hoare, president and owner of the mold-making company that specializes in high-cavitation tools with tight tolerances.
Pyramid - which is the Society of Plastics Engineers' Mold Division's mold maker of the year - employs 36 and operates a range of automated cutting equipment and robots capable of operating within a lights-out environment through weekends, said Tony May, technical sales engineer.
When the tooling industry began seeing the impact of molds moving to low-cost countries during the past few years, Hoare took time to find a niche where Pyramid could best leverage its expertise - in producing tools for the medical industry and for closures, caps and irrigation parts. The company also invested in the technology that would help it compete by putting skilled mold makers alongside automation, May said.
``The earlier you define your philosophies, the more time you have to perfect them,'' Hoare said.
With its planned technical center, Pyramid expects to extend its customer service capabilities by testing and fine-tuning molds in house.
``Our industry is facing many changes. You must remain flexible and keep an open mind,'' Hoare said.
``Your strategies must change with the times, but your core philosophies can always be applied to new strategies.''