Wurm's Woodworking Co. is investing $2.1 million to expand its thermoforming operations in New Washington, Ohio.
The expansion includes a 20,000-square-foot facility, molding machinery and equipment including a new custom, double-sided, shuttle-fed thermoforming machine, Valerie Sanderson, co-owner of Wurm's Woodworking Co., GR Golf and Creative Plastics International, told Plastics News in an email.
The addition brings WWC's thermoforming line count to seven in New Washington. Its facilities have shared access to another six thermoforming lines at its sister plant in Jackson Center, Ohio, Creative Plastics International.
The Wurm's Woodworking division primarily fabricates seamless vinyl upholstery for OEMs in the golf cart, recreational and sport utility vehicle markets but also for the medical, veterinary and dental markets.
The investment also includes new automated industrial 3D-printing arrays, "which will load and unload for 72 hours at a time without any human intervention," Sanderson said.
"Our customers are finding that they [can] source handles, latches, buttons, knobs … from us that would have otherwise involved a costly initial tooling investment."
"We hope to be fully operational by the end of 2023," she said. "Of course, this depends on the manufacturers of our new equipment."
The investment is expected to create at least three new positions, Sanderson added. WWC and GR Golf currently employ 47 people in New Washington.
"The investments we have made in our new building and equipment have allowed our company to significantly increase its plastic and vinyl upholstery production efficiency," Rick Wurm, a co-owner of WWC, said in a Nov. 4 news release.
"I am also ecstatic about our new Faro 3D measurement technology, which will allow us to efficiently create thermoformed plastic or vinyl upholstery tools, CNC [computer numerically controlled] fixtures, quality inspections and reverse engineer parts for 3D printing."
"Some people see the 'woodworking' in our name and do not associate plastic products with our company," Sanderson said. "We have fabricated cut-to-size plastic, thermoformed plastic and vinyl upholstery parts since the 1980s."
Wurm's Woodworking Co. operates alongside GR Golf, which it acquired in 2005, and Creative Plastics International, which it acquired in 2009. The companies manufacture golf cart seats, vinyl upholstery, thermoformed interior and exterior parts for camper and semi truck manufacturers, point-of-purchase displays, sound proofing components, membrane press lamination and CNC machined wood and plastic components.