Inline Plastics Corp. is no stranger to growth.
And the Shelton, Conn.-based thermoformer is at it again, with the addition of new machinery and more space to serve its customers around the country.
Inline makes PET thermoformed containers for food service, distributor and food processing customers.
Business is good.
The company, over the past year, has added 157,200 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space to its McDonough, Ga., location, and is "pursuing options" to expand existing manufacturing sites in Shelton and Salt Lake City.
Along with the added space, the company also has installed six new thermoforming lines, Jack Tilley, a market research analyst with the company, said during a March 20 interview.
"It's really just adding capacity to suit our growth," Tilley said. "We were at capacity at all three of our plants at some point, so we really needed to get capacity at all plants. It's a good problem, but when you get close, you have to increase capacity."
Part of Inline's recent investment was the installation of a mid-sized thermoforming line at the company's research and development facility in Milford, Conn.
This new equipment allows the company to test creation of new products before they reach full production.
"When we are scaling up products for a launch, that will allow us to get out prototypes quicker, production quality prototypes," Tilley said.
Adding this type of production at the R&D facility allows the company to identify any potential production issues before products are moved to larger machines.
Inline has undertaken a series of expansion projects in recent years, including the construction of the Georgia facility in 2009.
"We're growing and we've been successful and we're trying to come up with innovative food container products that can meet the needs of our customers. We've been successful so far and we think that's the key ... listen to the customer and come out with innovative products to help fit their needs," Tilley said.
Jim Porcaro is vice president of operations at Inline.
"As our business continues to grow, we are committed to continuously invest in capacity to ensure we have sufficient capacity to support our customer's requirements and maintain our very high fill rates," he said in a statement.
Inline's growth includes an increase in service to the convenience store sector. "We've seen convenience stores really increase recently as they add more service to their chains. That's a pretty big growth market," Tilley said.