Diverse plastics processor Alpha Plastics Solutions Inc. has spent about $1 million to expand and upgrade its factory in Muskego, Wis.
Alpha President and owner Tim Hogan said his firm recently installed a 360-ton Haitian horizontal injection press and another, a 528-tonner, will arrive at the plant the week of June 19.
"We want to remain competitive in the market with efficiencies, to stay current with technology," Hogan said in a telephone interview.
Alpha's press count has reached 20 with the purchases. The new machines are part of an upgrading and press replacement program. Clamp forces in the fleet run up to 700 tons.
The company has added several pieces of equipment in its assembly operation. More hot stamping machines, pad printers, leak testers, drills, glue machines and other equipment have been installed to support that side of the business.
Alpha's extrusion operation has been upgraded with a new Visual measuring machine and an additional puller. Another 5,000 square feet of warehouse space has been built, freeing up space in the molding area for more equipment, Hogan said.
The firm also has invested in energy efficiency with a new LED lighting system that could save it 75 percent in lighting costs. Payback for the system is expected to be only eight months.
Alpha bought the assets of a small injection molding operation, formerly Creative Plastics in West Bend, Wis., and subsequently moved the assets to Muskego. Alpha's staff level grew to 45 since that purchase. Hogan indicated his company is upgrading the staff's technical and quality control skills as a solution to the tight local availability of skilled labor.
Injection molding is Alpha's main business, accounting for about 60 percent of sales. Extrusion, thermoforming and assembly make up the rest of revenue, which he estimated at about $8 million in total.
"We forecast continued growth due to our dedication to continuous improvements," Hogan claimed.