For Accurate Molded Plastics Inc., the recent economic downturn was an opportunity for growth.
In the fall, the custom injection molder in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, added 20,000 square feet of space to its 40,000-square-foot plant.
When we finished the expansion, we picked up and moved every piece of equipment in the building, which was 30 machines, owner and CEO Dale Meyer said in a Jan. 24 telephone interview.
Several of the Arburg and Battenfeld presses, ranging in size from 28-1,450 tons of clamping force, were 10 or more years old. Meyer decided to take advantage of the recent extension of federal tax cuts for capital investment to replace them.
The law passed by Congress in December permits full, 100 percent first-year expensing of qualified capital equipment and machinery purchases for 2011.
AMP has ordered eight Arburg injection molding machines, ranging from 38-110 tons, to replace older presses, and the company also bought a Micro-Vu laser and visual measuring system a grand total of $700,000 in new machinery investments.
As if that weren't enough, Mayer said he is looking to grow the firm, which specializes in molding parts for medical devices, aerospace and electronics applications, through acquisitions.
We're pretty aggressive in looking for other opportunities. Anywhere in the western U.S. west of the Rockies, he said.
AMP's new building design put utilities in trenches underneath the floor, and allowed for gantry cranes overhead to speed movement of machinery.
We don't borrow money; we have cash. We were able to do [the expansion] without going to the bank, Meyer said.
I believe it was the cheapest time to build a building. With construction the way it was, everybody was pretty hungry and we had pretty aggressive pricing, so I think we built [the new building] substantially cheaper than we would have built it two or three years ago, or two or three years from now, he added.
AMP specializes in close-tolerance molding of engineering thermoplastics, including insert molding, overmolding with hard and soft materials, gas-assist molding, and gas-assist with overmolding.
The firm also offers prototyping, mold design, mold construction and builds its own tooling.
The company performs secondary operations such as machining, threaded insert installation, sonic welding, general mechanical and adhesive assembly, bulk packaging and drop shipment.
AMP ranked No. 175 among North American injection molders in Plastics News' most recent industry survey, with annual sales of $20 million. The company employs 150.