Steinwall Inc. recently raised its roof, adding about 10,000 square feet of space to accommodate some large injection presses the company needs to mold bigger parts.
The company in Coon Rapids, Minn., near Minneapolis, installed two large Toshiba presses with 1,750 and 950 tons of clamping force to start the new year. It will add a 1,100-ton Demag press by the end of the month.
``It was a major undertaking,'' President Maureen Steinwall said in a recent telephone interview.
She said the company's new roof provides 30 feet of clearance. The firm also added molding space and a larger docking bay to get the equipment into the building.
The major expansion was done with about two years of planning. Two customers suggested that the company add bigger presses, Steinwall said.
``You have to do something different in this economy or you will be going down the wrong path,'' she said, adding that she is optimistic about her firm's future.
The expansion boosted the company's space to about 98,000 square feet.
Steinwall said she does not want to ``tip her hand'' as to what markets the expansion will serve, but she noted the company will be ready for any upturn in the economy.
The company had sales of $13.6 million in 2008 and is anticipating sales of $15 million in 2009. It is known for its cocoon environment, a setup to control temperature and humidity in its molding area.
``We're process engineers. We have to watch 27 variables,'' she said, noting that isolating the molding makes the company more efficient.
Steinwall Inc. was a 2006 award winner for training and education mastery in Managing Automation magazine's Progressive Manufacturing Awards program.