Plumbing and water products manufacturer Coast Water Efficient Technology LLC is retrofitting a 90,000-square-foot facility in Panama City Beach, Fla., that will serve as the company's new headquarters by mid-2010.
The company is relocating from Pomona, Calif., to Panama City, and expects the new facility to be a model for energy-efficient injection molding plants.
Coast WET got into injection molding when it acquired Clearwater, Fla.-based Bengal Industries Inc.
Coast WET will relocate molding machines from Bengal's facility to the new Panama City site.
Coast WET's new manufacturing plant will start with 24 all-electric injection molding presses that have clamping forces from 35-600 tons, each equipped with robots.
The company also will run two blow molding machines, CEO Robert Easter said in a Nov. 19 telephone interview.
Prior to the Bengal acquisition, Coast WET had relied on an injection molding supplier to provide parts.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based John Barry & Associates Management Engineers Inc. was retained by the state of Florida as part of incentives to help outfit the Panama City plant.
The factory will be highly automated and will feature the best energy-efficient technologies, Bob Barry, the firm's president, said in a Nov. 20 telephone interview.
When green building first materialized, an 8-10 percent premium would be added to the cost of construction, Barry said; now, that figure is coser to 2-3 percent.
Robert [Easter] and his team are looking more aggressively to push the edge on that, going with some of the more advanced efforts in that regard, Barry said.
Easter said those efforts are going to give his company a competitive advantage.
Our competitors have all moved out of the United States. They all went to Mexico or China, he said. We think we can beat these guys, heads up. We think we can beat them on price, but we'll kill them on quality and service.
Easter expects the company to open a second injection molding and distribution center in Texas within a year.
Coast WET will have sales of about $3.5 million in 2009. Combined with business inherited from Bengal, and organic growth projections for 2010, Easter said his company will exceed $20 million in sales next year.
Coast WET will operate under a hybrid business model where it focuses on manufacturing proprietary products, but will be open to new ideas from potential business partners or customers without sufficient startup capital for new ideas.
We want to be a place an inventor can walk into without a dime to their name and say, 'Hey, I've got a great idea,' Easter said. So many innovations get killed because of the process of getting to market.
Coast WET's product catalog is mainly focused on water: filtration, purification, water bottles, and plumbing end-use products like flush and meter valves.
If people stop going to the bathroom, then they'll stop buying our products, Easter said.
Copyright 2009 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.