Tessy Plastics Corp. expects to complete a $4 million, 40,000-square-foot expansion of its advanced manufacturing plant in Elbridge, N.Y., in April.
The firm will use 75 percent of the space for medical work.
It is the fourth expansion of the firm's advanced manufacturing plant since it was built in 2000, and will give Tessy a combined 320,000 square feet at its two plants in Elbridge, President and Chief Executive Officer Roland Beck said Feb. 12 by phone.
The contract manufacturer, based in Elbridge, also operates a 50,000-square-foot factory in Lynchburg, Va., and a 58,000-square-foot factory in Shanghai.
The Elbridge expansion, under way since September, includes two clean rooms one with a Class 10,000 designation and the other a Class 100,000 room.
We had run out of room, said Beck. We needed the space to do medical molding and assembly.
Tessy's medical business has been growing 20 percent a year since 2002 and now accounts for 55 percent of its sales, he said.
In that same time frame, Tessy's overall sales have increased from $60 million to $150 million in 2008, with growth of 8 percent expected for 2009.
It is going to be a tough year because of the economic climate, Beck said. Our medical business isn't impacted at all. We are seeing a drop-off in anything related to construction, but we aren't affected too badly.
The economic climate that has created problems for some companies has benefitted Tessy. The firm has inherited tooling and projects from customers concerned that some of their other suppliers might be having financial difficulties, Beck said.
That type of activity has really picked up in the last couple of months. Some of it is in medical, but more of it is in consumer products, he said, noting that Tessy also makes cosmetic and consumer products and water-pump housings.
With the expansion, the firm will add 10 all-electric injection molding machines, most of them in the 100- to 220-ton range, bringing the number of presses in Elbridge to 165. It also will boost the workforce there to 610 people, by adding 30 workers. Globally, Tessy employs more than 1,000.
For the medical industry, Tessy makes products used in minimally invasive surgery such as single-use endocutters used to close up patients after surgery; disposable end pieces for medical-diagnostic devices; plastic moldings for ophthalmoscopes and otoscopes; flexible tubes, or cannulas, used to put cameras inside a body to take diagnostic images; and plastic cartridges that hold sutures.
Disposable medical products are huge, Beck said. But the demands from our customers are for more complete assembly. They want the product designed, molded, assembled, inspected and shipped. Our innovations let us test every single product through automation, rather than hand assembly and visual inspections.