Injection molder and mold maker MGS Mfg. Group Inc. is building its presence in blow molding.
The company recently added a fourth blow molding machine, and the firm projects 20 percent growth in its blow molding output this year.
If business continues as expected, the company may add injection stretch blow molding to its TecStar Manufacturing Co. molding operation at its base in Germantown, Wis.
MGS also might bring blow molding to its newly acquired molding facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.
That is a lot of growth for a company that did not enter blow molding until four years ago, noted David Sansone, MGS vice president. The trend is being driven by customers who want to consolidate their supply base and simplify product delivery.
``Everybody wants to stay lean and minimize their inventory. That means that they have to coordinate deliveries. We can put both bottles and [injection molded] dispensing closures on the same truck,'' Sansone said in a June 2 telephone interview. ``It's a single source for them.''
MGS' mold-making experience allows the company to offer an even wider package of products, he said.
In addition, the firm's background in automation helps it compete for business against molders in low-wage regions. It is making one product now that previously was made in China.
MGS added a Bekum BM-406D continuous extrusion shuttle blow molding machine at TecStar early this year. The machine can produce containers as large as 2 gallons. TecStar makes custom containers, medical components and consumer products.
The company also has an industrial blow molding machine that it uses for special products, and Sansone said he expects the next addition to be for injection stretch blow molding.
MGS had blow molding sales of about $8.5 million in 2007. The new machine and new business should expand its blow molding output by 20 percent through the end of 2008. It expects to add an extrusion shuttle blow molding machine at its TecStar de Mexico plant in Chihuahua by the end of this year, with the possibility for a fifth machine in Germantown by late 2008.
To free up space for blow molding in Wisconsin, the company purchased a separate warehouse near its manufacturing campus in Germantown, moved some inventory there, and now has a dedicated blow molding area within the main MGS facilities.
``If we look at the fact that we've only been in this for about four years, there's obviously quite a lot happening in this part of the business,'' he said.