Miami-based Graduate Plastics Inc. is investing $8 million into injection molding machines, molds, facilities and staff to expand and modernize two business units that manufacture more than 200 million products a year.
Founded in 1992, the company does business as Quantum Storage Systems, an industrial bin and warehouse storage manufacturer and mold maker, and M&M Plastics Inc., which produces components.
Think plastic bins, containers, totes and components like mounting clips, roller housings, tilt-latch assemblies and screen door handle sets.
In all, the businesses offer more than 24,000 products and molds with new designs on the way for major catalogs like Uline, global distributors including W.W. Grainger, the U.S. government, retailers, food service businesses, aerospace assemblers, window and door manufacturers and more.
To improve molding output, Quantum Storage and M&M Plastics are updating their fleet of injection molding machines with 11 new LS Mtron presses.
The businesses aren't growing with any particular customers or trends, according to Quantum General Manager Don Thomas. New product introductions, "very unreliable" overseas supply chain problems and faster injection molding machines are contributing to company sales, he said in an email.
"Delivery, availability and vast product selection to fit customer needs [are] driving continued success," Thomas said.
Quantum Storage and M&M Plastics operate at a corporate campus with five facilities and 400 employees — more than twice as many as 2011, when Thomas started.
On the heels of the 2008-09 recession, he said the privately held, family-owned company was investing in the U.S. instead of moving manufacturing to Asia.
"We didn't want to be lemmings. We wanted to be leaders, not followers," he said.
In the last two years, the businesses purchased the 11 new LS Mtron machines.
"Five are up and running, two are currently being commissioned and we wait for four new large machines for the end of this year into next," Thomas said.
LS Mtron kept its commitment to deliver the new machines in 100 days, he added.
"Considering the supply chain turmoil, machines were still delivered as required, by the schedule we put in place — some considerably sooner," Thomas said.
The businesses then will have 58 presses and 150,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space.
Maximizing production floor space was a big consideration in selecting what to buy, according to Adrian Gerardo, Quantum's plant manager.
"The LS Mtron machines are significantly more compact and much more efficient than the older machines they're replacing," he said.
Quantum also does a lot of its own mold making, especially for the smaller parts produced by M&M Plastics.