Bethel, Vt. — GW Plastics Inc. is expanding its silicones business unit again, this time 3,000 square feet of additional clean room space that can house up to 10 new injection molding machines for its growing health care business.
The Bethel, Vt.-based company says it is investing $2 million into construction, new equipment and technology for several new programs taken on by its affiliate, GW Silicones, which is located in nearby Royalton, Vt.
Launched in 2008, GW Silicones offers liquid injection molding and liquid silicone rubber mold making with a focus on two-shot, insert and overmolded parts for the health care and automotive markets.
For health care customers, GW Silicones designs and produces parts for airways, balloon catheters, surgical instrument handles, infusion sleeves and test chambers, fluid management and ear plugs, dental applications, shunts and septums, and silicone seals, stoppers, gaskets, valves and clips.
This is the fourth expansion of GW Silicones, which now has 12,000 square feet of Class 8 clean room equipped with all-electric and hybrid molding machines that the company says provide tightly controlled processes and consistency.
The presses also have multiple screw and barrel assemblies for a wide range of molding capabilities from fractions of a gram to larger pound shots.
In addition, six-axis robots operate within the machine envelope for insert loading and molded-part extraction.
The clean room expansion follows an investment into the tooling division, which included more automation and technology to broaden its LSR tooling.
For mold making, GW Silicones says its in-house tool experts can build high-cavitation, fully automated, tight-tolerance LSR molds for customers that are designed for manufacturing at a lower cost with competitive lead times.
"Working closely with our in-house thermoplastics mold division has allowed for this type of flexibility, improvement, and growth," Mark Hammond, GW Silicones general manager said in a statement. "There are not many companies who can say that they have the capabilities to build molds like these, and we could not be prouder or more excited for the future."
GW Silicones staff also collaborates with GW Plastics on projects, such as a surgical suture pen redesigned with multiple materials to perform better for doctors.
Brenan Riehl, GW Plastics president and CEO, said having in-house LSR molding, tooling and product development capabilities provides strategic benefits to customers.
"Our ability to provide product design assistance early in the development process — combined with world-class, in-house tooling and global production capabilities — allows us to offer innovative, high-quality, cost-effective solutions to our customers," Riehl said in a statement.
Earlier this year, GW Plastics completed a 30,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing and technology center in Royalton.