Orlando, Fla. — With a diverse customer base, Venture Plastics Inc. is continuing its pursuit to break into the Top 50 injection molders in Plastics News' annual ranking.
The custom injection molder, based in Newton Falls, Ohio, has completed an expansion at its plant there to facilitate an automotive program and a new 1,440-ton Nissei injection molding machine.
Alan Schultice, Venture's director of sales, said the machine will go into full production in June, followed by the start of the auto program.
The $1.75 million expansion added 17,000 square feet of space at the headquarters of the company, which will mark 50 years in business in 2019.
The company also added a smaller Nissei machine and Schultice said the company is close to purchasing a 950-ton Nissei for its El Paso, Texas, operation.
Securing skilled labor can be a challenge, and Schultice noted that continues to be a hurdle. The company has started a leadership training program in El Paso and soon will initiate a program in Ohio.
"We are taking important steps to invest in our people," he said.
Schultice said he keeps tabs on Washington's ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, since the El Paso plant is in a border town.
"Our suppliers are well-entrenched down there," he said. "I really don't think it would have an impact on us."
Tariffs, however, are another story.
"We do have a concern on tariffs," Schultice said. "I don't know that it is going to be all bad news, though."
Schultice noted that the tariffs could add $30,000 to a tool it would have built in China. That figure could vary depending on tool size.
"It is just going to level the playing field," he said. "Ultimately, quality is going to win out. It will improve the quality of the tool business in this country."
The company posted sales of $34.5 million in 2017, and Schultice said growth continues to be steady at about 5 percent a year.
While the company serves the automotive and technology end markets, it consistently maintains a diverse customer base, with no market making up more than 30 percent of its business.
"We will invest in automation and technology to be a better molder for the future," Schultice said. "We will remain diverse. History tells us those who get their business in one market are the ones who close."