Eight years ago, when Aimet Technologies LLC built its plant in Zebulon, N.C., the company planned for the factory to eventually include more large-tonnage injection molding equipment.
Now, using a capital infusion from equity investors, the company is installing its largest machine ever, an 1,100 ton Negri Bossi V1000.
“When we originally built our building in 2007, it was built so [one section of the plant] had the infrastructure and thicker flooring for up to a 2,500 ton press,” said Brady Lancaster, vice president of sales and marketing.
A lot of time has passed, but after as group of investors led by Gallatin Equity Partners LLC provided additional funding in April 2015, they were able to concentrate on additional growth and business development strategies.
As part of the equity investment, Gallatin partner Tony Sturrus took over as president and CEO, while founder Dave Jackson stayed on as senior vice president of engineering. The company also changed its name from Aimet Technologies Inc. to Aimet Technologies LLC.
“We are very supportive of Aimet's decision to expand its capabilities with this strategic investment and believe it will provide greater stability and growth opportunities for the company going forward,” said Julian Alexander, managing partner for Gallatin, in a statement.
The new machine is part of an over $1 million investment in machinery this year by Aimet. Previously, its largest press was 585 tons. Overall, it has 26 molding machines and utilizes an IQMS enterprise system for efficiency.
The 1,100 ton machine was outfitted with a Sytrama S10-L servo robot and already has work from one major customer, according to Lancaster.
The company operates out of an 82,000 square foot facility and has been hiring. Since April, its employee tally has jumped from 42 to 89. Aimet does work for the appliance, automotive, sporting goods, consumer goods and electronics markets. It is also looking to do more medical and aerospace work.
Lancaster said the company is centrally located in the southeastern United States and is looking at two-shot molding and larger presses in 2016 as a way to continue growing.
Aimet is an acronym for Automated Injection Molding of Engineered Thermoplastics.