Prospect Mold Inc. is investing $3.7 million in new machinery this year, including a Fooke Endura milling machine that can handle components as long as 24 feet long.
The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based mold maker is expanding, and plans to hire eight to 10 employees as well.
President Bruce Wright said the company aims to grow some of its niche markets including parts and tooling for military and commercial airplanes, and multicolor lens molds for automotive taillights. He also wants the company to diversify into new markets.
The new machine will help because of its sheer size.
``This takes us to another level. Right now we turn down work [because we can't handle the size],'' Wright said in a recent telephone interview.
The Endura 905 machine, from Fooke GmbH in Raiffeisenstrasse, Germany, will be the first in the United States, Wright said. Prospect expects to take delivery in December and have the machine up and running by March. It will be the second large purchase for the company this year.
Prospect also has ordered a Parpas America Corp. Diamond five-axis machining center the company's second which will be installed this month.
``We are getting more and more five-axis machines. They are more difficult to program and take more training, but they open more doors,'' Wright said.
The company has spent more than $6 million on new equipment in the past two years. Prospect serves the automotive, aerospace and construction industries through the manufacture of molds, dies, tooling and custom parts. It makes molds for injection, compression and structural foam molders, as well as for processors of sheet molding compound.
Wright said the company's sales are up 15-20 percent over last year. In 2009, sales are expected to increase another 20-25 percent.
The company was founded by Bruce Wright's father, Bill Wright, in 1945. Bruce Wright said he believes it is important for the company to continually invest in its employees, training, software and new methods.
Prospect Mold will have seven five-axis machining centers by the end of the year. It added three in 2007.
The company has 95 employees and operates in an 88,000-square-foot facility in Cuyahoga Falls. It has achieved both ISO 9001 and AS9100B certification.