Thermoplastic injection molder Caroba Plastics Inc. has added a Class 10,000 clean room at its plant in Englewood, Colo., which will serve largely as a molding technology center for medical-device manufacturer Baxa Corp., also based in Englewood.
The addition of the 12,000-square-foot clean room is just one of a series of expansions during the past two years that has propelled Caroba into a $130 million company, CEO and founder Barry Hart said in a telephone interview.
In 2009, Caroba expanded its warehouse from 10,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet, and added spin-welding capabilities. In the last three years, it has added five injection molding machines, bringing its total number of electric Nissei machines to 22, with clamping forces ranging from 22-400 tons.
Caroba started with two machines and $2 million in sales in 1983.
Hart said the company has upgraded its systems and molding capabilities aggressively, and now it can mold, assembly and ship parts directly.
Now we can be a full-service contractor, do medical subassembly work, some packaging and be an integrated partner, not just a supplier, Hart said.
The two machines for the clean room, which began operations earlier this year, are 120-ton and 300-ton presses. They were purchased for Caroba by Baxa, which makes medical devices and systems that automate pharmacy operations and increase patient safety. Caroba makes about 70 percent of Baxa's molds, Hart said.
Caroba employs 120 and has roughly 300 customers worldwide, with Baxa as its largest customer. About 70 percent of Caroba's sales come from its medical business, which is mostly pharmaceutical dispensers. The other 30 percent of its sales come from semiconductor products such as photomask and wafer carriers, according to Hart.
The company's secondary services include ultrasonic welding, overmolding, assembly, blister packaging, gluing, shrink-wrap packaging, autobagging with printing, and thermal decal transfers and decorating.
We have had a pretty steep growth in the last five years, Hart said. The medical-device industry is more recession-proof than other industries. Even in a bad market in 2009, we grew by $400,000 in sales.
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