Driven by the growth of its patent-pending anti-tampering food packaging, Lacerta Group Inc. plans to add more equipment, more employees and 55,000 square feet of space to set up an extrusion operation.
“Right now the plan is to put the extrusion line in the new building. As we keep growing, we will need to add more production capacity,” said President Ali Lotfi.
Lotfi said the company is experiencing sales growth in excess of 40 percent so far this year, and that's why the company purchased a building behind its existing operation in Mansfield, Mass. Lacerta has a total of about 130,000 square feet of space in the two buildings that house its thermoforming and tooling operations.
He said Lacerta started making a thermoformed tamper-resistant food container with a tear-away tab. It is used by supermarkets and convenience stores for ready-to-eat products. Lacerta applied for a patent on the project last year, and recently filed for another.
He said the packages are being used throughout the United States, and are being tested in South America, Europe and the Middle East.
“What is unique is that we have stock items and we also do custom, too. If you need a product to fit better, you're not tied to a stock product,” Lotfi said.
Besides supplying the food industry, Lacerta does work for the cosmetics, consumer product, industrial and retail markets.
The company currently runs 13 thermoformers and Lotfi noted that it will take delivery of two more in August. He did not disclose the machine brands.
“We will be automating all of our thermoformers,” he said.
Lacerta does mold making and design work as well. It has eight computer numerical controlled trimming machines. Lotfi said it will add a much larger CNC machine in the next few months.
Lacerta Group was started by brothers Ali and Mory Lotfi, along with their cousin Mostafa Lotfi, in 1993. It has been growing steadily and currently has 170 employees. Ali Lotfi added that they will hire another 50-60 workers in the next six to nine months.
The company also operates a 30,000 square foot facility near Mexico City, and that could grow as well. However, he said the focus now is on building up the Mansfield operation.