Injection molder Sterling Manufacturing Co. Inc. has new management seeking growth, thanks to an improving economy and all-time-low interest rates.
“Our first goal is to expand our relationship with existing customers by offering them improved project management, increased engineering services and added technological capabilities,” said Michael Gravelle, the South Lancaster, Mass., firm's business development director.
Gravelle said Sterling's advantage is being a debt-free company with high growth potential, a focus on improving infrastructure and a willingness to invest in new projects and equipment.
CEO John Gravelle and President Stan Bowker purchased Sterling in August. The company's latest step in expanding operations is the purchase of an Engel insert 200/60 US injection molding machine for Sterling's new Class 100,000 clean room.
The machine will be used to make overmolded medical products.
A news release from Engel indicated that the molder is shifting toward more automation to compete on a larger scale and reduce labor costs.
“We expect the number of employees to increase in the near future,” Michael Gravelle said in a telephone interview.
“When we refer to labor reduction, we mean that as we add high-volume projects, we will focus on adding automation and new technologies to these work cells to reduce costs and compete with labor-intensive markets such as China, Taiwan and Mexico,” he said.
The list of Sterling's value-added capabilities, now including sonic welding, pad printing, hot stamping and silicone dipping, will be expanded when it purchases new secondary equipment, Gravelle said. The company also upgraded to ISO 9001:2008 and will invest in quality assurance technologies for further expansion in the medical industry.
The firm began in 1968 and now has 24 injection presses and a 35,000-square-foot facility on 9 acres. The plant specializes in medical, aerospace and military parts. Sterling manufactures products for global companies, reaching out to Europe, Central America and Asia.
“We are happy to see an emerging trend of more and more companies choosing to invest within America's borders rather than outsourcing the work overseas,” Gravelle said.