Space is at a premium at Promold Plastics Inc., so the Cromwell, Conn.-based mold maker and injection molder is preparing for its future with the purchase of a 43,000-square-foot facility in nearby Portland, Conn.
``Our goal is to have room to expand for more machinery and more jobs,'' President Rick Puglielli said in a telephone interview.
The company currently has more than 50 employees working in a facility that is less than 20,000 square feet. The new building, a former printing plant about five miles away, is more than twice as big.
``It needs renovations to fit our operations. I guess it will take six to eight months to design and plan the move,'' said Puglielli, who expects to begin moving machinery by the end of the year.
He said Promold is looking for a more open floor plan as well as better material flow in the design of its new home. All current employees will be offered jobs in the new plant.
Promold has been expanding its close-tolerance molding capabilities. In recent months, it boosted its quality assurance and inspection equipment, and added an 18th injection molding press.
``That's the emerging technology. It's an opportunity to get into new programs that require more reliability and quality as we look to go forward,'' Puglielli said.
He said the company keeps adding more sophisticated equipment to build its work in the medical, industrial and electronics industries.
Puglielli said 2006 was the company's best sales year since he became president in 1999 and he expects to do better this year. He did not disclose sales figures.
In 2006, the company got into micromolding and also started using the eDart System from RJG Inc. to monitor pressure in the mold cavity of the presses. The system adds to Promold's quality control, allowing it to eliminate bad parts and also to generate a template that can be used to duplicate its process in another location.
He said that the improvements are continuing with a new coordinate measuring machine for quality control added in December, as well a 100-ton press in February.
The company now has 18 presses, from 28-300 tons. Its newest machines have closed-loop controllers.
The company also does mold making, as well as secondary operations such as pad printing and sonic welding. It has worked with commodity resins as well as custom-engineered and blended resins.
Promold was founded in 1967 as a one-man tool and die shop by the late Riccardo Puglielli. His son Rick took over in 1999.