Fast growing Addison, Texas-based All-Plastics LLC has invested about $1.2 million for seven molding machines of 14-200 tons, four robots, other auxiliary equipment and software upgrades.
All-Plastics is tackling larger transfer projects, maintaining its current capacity and allocating room for expansion.
The custom injection molder purchased a second plant last year and landed new business including a food and beverage client in the San Antonio market.
In early 2017 in the middle of the launch, the new customer supplied 130 molds that All-Plastics needed to validate on an expedited basis.
Calling it an "anomaly," All-Plastics CEO and President Thomas Houdeshell said, "Over 30 years in the business, I have never experienced as robust a pipeline as we've had since the first of the year."
Storm-related refinery shortages of resin and logistical supply issues with gasoline and diesel fuel, however, might undermine the gains and will lead to consequences, he said. "The hurricane [Harvey] has had a huge effect on our business."
In September 2016, All-Plastics acquired the Kerrville, Texas, division of Vention Medical. The Salem, N.H.-based medical device manufacturer had said in July 2016 that it would close the Kerrville plant.
Houdeshell's business background and industry knowledge prompted him to quickly buy the Kerrville facility for All-Plastics' use and, in turn, retain the jobs of the experienced Vention employees at that location.
About 308 miles separate the 37,000-square-foot Addison facility in the Dallas metro area and the 67,000-square-foot Kerrville plant northwest of San Antonio.
With its investments, All-Plastics now operates 30 presses in Kerrville including four new Fanuc Roboshots, a Milacron vertical and an Arburg with a vertical injection unit.
The Addison plant has 20 presses including a new Fanuc Roboshot. Clamping forces range from 14 to 1,000 tons.
The Fanuc machines have preinstalled eDart monitoring and control systems from RJG Inc., and All-Plastics is investing in more eDart units.
The four full-servo robots from Wittmann Group are installed on machines in Kerrville.
In addition for the Kerrville site, All-Plastics acquired an orientating spin welder from Dukane Intelligent Assembly Solutions LLC to support the food and beverage business and a wire electrical discharge machine from Sodick Inc. for tool room use.
The Kerrville purchase included an underutilized 1,200-square-foot hard-wall white room now on track toward certification as a clean room.
Currently, the 14-ton Arburg molds microcomponentry in the white room, which can support continued growth in secondary operations, Houdeshell said.
Also, All-Plastics in Kerrville has portable clean room machine hoods totaling 2,500 square feet.
In Addison, an assembly area was built in January and is being transformed now into an engineering center for rapid prototyping.
Both plants utilize IQMS EnterpriseIQ enterprise resourceplanning software, which was installed in Addison in January 2014 and re-installed in Kerrville in January 2017.
All-Plastics employs 70 in Addison and 65 in Kerrville. "We have hired additional talent for scientific injection molding," along with help for process and analytical engineering and the tool rooms, he said.
The Addison shop has a reputation for mold making, and journeyman tool makers produce molds there on occasion. Typically for meeting customer requirements, All-Plastics has relationships with mold making partners in China and the U.S.
All-Plastics' end markets include medical-pharmaceutical, 68 percent; industrial, 18 percent; consumer, 10 percent; and packaging, 4 percent.
All-Plastics had 2016 sales of $10.9 million and, through 2017's first six months, "did slightly more than $10 million," Houdeshell said in a telephone interview.