Custom blow molder Cortland Plastics International LLC recently completed an expansion that more than doubled the size of its headquarters and plant.
The Cortland, N.Y.-based company broke ground on the 25,000-square-foot addition in the summer of 2010.
The $3 million project, which includes the addition of four new continuous shuttle blow molders — two in 2011, one in May and another set to arrive in October — will increase the plant's capacity by 20 percent, said controller Kay Breed.
Currently, Cortland employs 46 at the 55,000-square-foot facility. The company plans to add 10 new jobs by the end of summer.
The expansion follows a streak of successes. Cortland's sales have increased every year in recent history and jumped 20 percent last year, Breed said.
The company has also gained new customers —- a large project for a nationwide brand of commercial motor oil and a joint project with sister firm Syracuse Packaging International LLC for a national agriculture company, she said.
Syracuse is a container-filling business located about 40 miles from Cortland in Syracuse, N.Y. The proximity helps customers save on time and shipping, Breed said.
Syracuse blends and fills raw materials, along with liquid and dry products for the pool and spa, pet care, lawn and garden, cleaning and household markets.
Breed said Cortland focuses on custom molds and small runs, something that many larger companies aren't willing to do. A quality-control system, developed in-house, helps ensure that bottles are free of defects, she said.
“Quality control and customer service are our two keys to our success,” she said.
Cortland also operates as a lean company with four upper-management positions, Breed said.
“We're here. We're on-site, we don't have to go through 50 other people and ask ‘Can we do that?' “ she said. “We'll probably never have an automated answering system here. We want the customer to be able to speak to a live person when they call.”
The company is projecting 10-20 percent growth over the next few years and has plans to add more machines and capacity.
“We just want to continue to maintain a manageable-sized facility to keep that close contact with our customers, to maintain our relationships. It's very controlled growth,” Breed said.
Cortland posted sales of $9.5 million in 2010, according to Plastics News' most recent blow molders survey. The company makes containers, ranging in size from less than an ounce to 2 gallons from PET, polypropylene, polyethylene and post-consumer resins.