Naples, Fla. — Custom injection molder Grand Traverse Plastics Corp. is investing more than $1.5 million to get into lights-out manufacturing at its headquarters in Williamsburg, Mich., while officials also are looking to make an acquisition in the Southeast, a company official said.
The company is converting one of its three facilities in Williamsburg into the lights-out operation by moving mold making and automation operations in the 33,000-square-foot plant to free up room for the fully automatic molding area, Jeff Ignatowski, vice president of sales and marketing, said.
"There was plenty of space that wasn't being utilized," Ignatowski said. The lights-out operation will occupy 20,000 square feet of space in the building.
Another feature of tight-tolerance, lights-out molding is that Grand Traverse Plastics is buying its first all-electric injection presses. Ignatowski said the company initially will buy three small-tonnage all-electrics, but the operation probably will grow to house 10 machines. The operation also will have five- and six-axis robots, along with automated material handling and box conveyor systems.
Ignatowski said the only labor needed will be for someone to move the boxes into shipping and a quality performance employee to check part samples using an offline Keyence optical inspection system.