TNT Plastic Molding Inc. invested in infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades in conjunction with a move of 22 miles to Corona from Anaheim in Southern California.
“We searched all the surrounding cities, and Corona had what we were looking for,” said Diane Mixson, TNT president. “It is close to many distribution centers, and many of our customers are already in the area. In addition, the freeway is next to our location.
“One of the hidden bonuses is that as soon as we moved in, we found a qualified, skilled and talented labor pool,” she added.
TNT leased 120,000 square feet of space in October 2011.
In January, TNT relocated its off-site warehouse operation from a 6,000-square-foot site in Anaheim and, by October of this year, had vacated its principal leased, 38,000-square-foot facility.
TNT operates 30 injection molding machines from Toyo, JSW, Fortune and four other manufacturers. It uses Yushin robots and has IQMS quality-management systems.
The largest press — a new 770-ton Fortune — began operating in July.
The smallest — a 9-ton horizontal Babyplast 6/10P — operates in TNT's new 700-square-foot, Class 1,000 clean room. American Cleanroom Systems of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., supplied the environmental equipment.
In the clean room, TNT uses the microinjection molding machine to make lenses for aircraft landing lights, LED indicator-lamp cases, total internal-reflection lenses and filters for life-support apparatus.
TNT's strongest end markets include consumer products, water-filtration devices and aerospace/defense components.
TNT sees growing demand for its use of multicavity molds and capability to handle turnkey production requirements, Mixson said.
In addition to custom injection molding, TNT services include rapid engineering, tooling, wire electrical discharge machining, subassembly, Kanban lean and just-in-time production, pad printing, hot stamping, ultrasonic and spin welding and consignment storage.
TNT's ISO 9001:2008 certification carried over to the Corona site. Now, TNT is working toward certification under the AS 9100C quality-management standard for the aviation, space and defense industries.
The family-owned company employs 95, including five mold makers and, as needed, uses the services of up to 60 temporary workers.
A vendor in China supplies about 30 percent of TNT's new tooling.
John Chadwick is CEO. His daughter, Diane Mixson, is president, and his two sons are vice presidents, Dennis Chadwick for operations and Douglas Chadwick for product development.
In October, the owners changed the legal name of the business to TNT Plastic Molding Inc. from Artistic Plastics Inc.
Harry Tait formed TNT in 1973, and John Chadwick established Artistic in 1975, initially as a mold-making shop. The owners were acquainted, and their Anaheim businesses grew separately. Artistic Plastics acquired TNT from Tait in late 2006.
In 2008, TNT envisioned creating a business venture in Huidong, China, with a partner that molds polyurethane foam shapes.
“The project is on hold,” Mixson said.
TNT projects 2012 sales of about $14 million, after reporting $12.5 million last year.