After winning new customers this year, Plastic Molding Technology Inc. is adding 12 injection presses, expanding its factory space and hiring skilled workers in El Paso, Texas.
It's a very rough environment out there, but we consider ourselves very fortunate, CEO Charles A. Sholtis said.
Sholtis said PMT invested about $400,000 to buy the equipment 12 used, late-model Toshiba presses ranging in clamping force from 24-190 tons, sprue-picker robots, mold heaters and drying systems. The injection presses were purchased from auctions and used-machinery dealers, he said. The Toshibas, a mix of all-electric and hydraulic machines, bring PMT's total press count to 54.
This month, PMT is expanding its 40,000-square-foot leased factory space by another 20,000 square feet, by moving into adjacent space that became available. The new space will include 4,000 square feet for offices, plus warehousing.
PMT moved to El Paso from Connecticut in 2004. Historically, the firm sells primarily to Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers.
That continues to be true, but automotive is a lower mix then when we moved here because we've diversified our product mix, Sholtis said.
In early 2007, PMT launched a focused, strategic sales effort. This year, the payback came: four new customers in the industrial, electrical, automotive and business equipment sectors.
Winning new customers and diversifying into new markets takes time, Sholtis said.
You can't stop on a dime and you can't turn on a 90-degree corner, he said.
Generated by sales Vice President Todd Sholtis and his team, the new work drove the decision to expand the plant. Charles A. Sholtis and Todd Sholtis are brothers. Their father, Charles E. Sholtis, founded the molder in 1973 and is chairman.
PMT employs about 100. Sholtis said the company has hired about 40 since August, including process technicians, mold makers, injection molding technicians, press operators and material handlers.
Some of the new hires have been from across the border skilled U.S. workers who lost their jobs recently in Mexico, Sholtis said. Some also came from downsized plants in El Paso. We are pleased that we were able to offer a position to those displaced workers. We have a long-term commitment to the El Paso region, he said.
PMT also has won some transfer work from financially distressed molders, using a formal tool transfer process and an in-house toolroom.
Sholtis said PMT plans to add a white room for molding medical products. Right now, medical accounts for a small percentage of the company's business, he said.
The company also plans to expand its toolroom and technical development center.
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