Medical-device contract manufacturer Vesta Inc. is more than doubling the size of its manufacturing facility in Franklin, Wis., to 120,000 square feet, and shuttering a 10,000-square-foot plant 110 miles away in Portage.
This is a good time to build, said Jim Fitzgerald, vice president of sales and marketing. We had the space and the need.
The firm's last expansion, in 2003, doubled space at the Franklin plant to 53,000 square feet.
Vesta also said it is building a state-of-the-art thermoplastic facility in Corona, Calif., for the Extrumed business it acquired in April. The new plant is scheduled to be completed in early 2010 and will replace nearby facilities in Placentia and Temecula, Calif.
The cost of the two expansions was not disclosed. Vesta makes silicone and thermoplastic tubing for the cardiovascular, neurological and other intravenous catheter markets.
All seven workers in Vesta's Portage, Wis., plant have been offered positions in Franklin after the consolidation takes place late this year, Fitzgerald said.
We're hopeful they all take us up on the offer. The workers up there have a lot of experience, he said. This consolidation is not performance-related, but driven by a need to be more efficient.
Fitzgerald said the expansion of the Franklin plant will give Vesta the opportunity to expand its packaging and warehouse services and assembly and secondary operations.
The company also is adding a development laboratory, dubbed Vesta Innovations, so its medical customers can work on-site with Vesta personnel in the early stages of product development.
In the short-term, there will be no additional equipment, Fitzgerald said. Our current space is crammed and this will allow us a better footprint for the equipment. But over the long-term, we plan to bring in more presses. He also said more jobs will be created over time.
Currently, the plant has about 60 horizontal and vertical presses and 11 extruders, and employs more than 300.
Vesta did not disclose sales figures. But Fitzgerald said the company has maintained above-market growth the past three years, while the industry has hovered between high single- and low double-digit annual growth rates.
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