Thermoplastic and silicone liquid injection medical molder Apec has begun to install the first of some 30 presses that are part of an expansion at the contract manufacturer's headquarters operation in Baldwin Park, Calif.
It is designed growth and our customers are driving it, Ron Noggle, director of product and program management of the Baldwin Park operations, said in an interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show in Anaheim.
The expansion, which originally was scheduled to be completed in November, includes a 10,0000-square-foot, Class 100,000 clean room for injection molding and assembly; a Class 100,000 assembly room; and a Class 10,000 assembly room that will enable Apec to increase its capacity for molding and clean room assembly by 50 percent.
Six of the projected 30 new thermoplastic injection molding machines for the plant, with clamping forces of 35-200 tons, have been put in place since January. The work force has been expanded from 155 to 170 employees, and will grow as the machines are installed, Noggle said.
We have had consistent and steady growth in the low double-digits since the company was founded in 1997 with one molding machine, Noggle said. When the expansion is complete, the Baldwin Park plant will have 65-70 injection molding machines.
Apec is part of Helix Medical LLC, which has operated since 2006 as the health-care products division of Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership in Plymouth, Mich., which is a joint venture of Freudenberg & Co. KG of Weinheim, Germany and NOK Corp. of Tokyo. Apec will become known as the Baldwin Park operations of Helix in 2010.
Helix Medical is focused on the medical-device, drug-delivery, health-care, pharmaceutical and biotech industries and specializes in thermoplastic and silicone medical-device components and subassemblies.
Noggle also said that the Apec Asia Ltd. plant in Shenzhen, China, has increased its number of molding machines from three to six, mostly in the range of 55-150 tons, and is doubling its capacity. The Shenzhen plant does not yet have liquid silicon injection molding capabilities.
We are able to support the European and Asian market with our China facility, which has a Class 10,000 clean room and performs low-cavity molding, said Noggle.