Contract manufacturer Plastikon Healthcare LLC is looking at a multi-phase expansion plan now that Lawrence, Kan., officials have agreed to transfer about 9 acres of adjacent property to the business.
The maker of medical devices and packaging for pharmaceuticals and supplements outgrew the 45,000-square-foot facility where it operated since 2011.
The subsidiary of Plastikon Industries Inc., which is based in Hayward, Calif., will add up to 100,000 square feet and invest up to $50 million at its existing 12-acre site about 25 miles east of Topeka. The area is large enough to house the next phase of growth, but the board of directors for the privately held company is looking even further ahead since the land transfer request was approved by the Douglas County Commission on April 26.
Knowing Plastikon can grow again at the industrial park is important for both site planning and negotiating contracts with new customers, General Manager Sandy Dixon said in a telephone interview.
"We have expansion plans for years out, and eventually we would need that land," Dixon said. "We have a pipeline quite full of potential customers."
The plant, which now has 22 employees, started with one product: a Class II in vitro diagnostic test kit.
"When you're a contract manufacturer it takes a while to get some traction and for people to know where you are and what you do," Dixon said. "We got to that point with our marketing. It's a good time to build with a full pipeline."
Plastikon is in talks with several major pharmaceutical companies about the products they want to make in Lawrence.
"The full investment will depend on the contracts we negotiate and who we negotiate with because they have different products and different platforms we'd have to bring in here," Dixon said. "It's really preliminary. Building the building is the most important part right now. The internal build out will depend on what contracts come in."
The facility currently offers blow/fill/seal (BFS) technology for aseptic and sterile filling, custom bottle design, and has the capabilities to fill nutraceutical products with the flexible BFS equipment and molds, according to its website. Plastikon formulates about 1 million liters of solutions annually.
Plastikon would like to have the next expansion phase completed with 40 to 60 new hires on the job by 2019, Dixon said. In the meantime, news about the pending project and a possible third phase has prompted inquiries from contractors wanting to bid on work and employment agencies wanting to place workers.
"Hopefully soon we will be basking in the wonder of it all instead of wondering about it," Dixon said.
Plastikon Industries serves the health care, automotive and commercial markets with 13 plants in North America and Asia. Each business unit makes up about a third of the business.