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GW Plastics to Expand Silicone Molding Division

With the increasing demand for molding liquid silicone rubber (LSR), GW Plastics Inc., a custom contract molder/manufacturer headquartered in Bethel, VT, announced a $3 million dollar investment in a new facility to house its LSR operations. Ground-breaking for the new facility will be in Royalton, VT, in October, with plans for full occupancy of the facility by the first quarter of 2012.

Mark Hammond, General Manager of GW Silicones, told PlasticsToday that the Silicones Division is currently housed in the company's Tech Center. "We used existing square footage to put in a clean room when we started the LSR division," he said.

The new facility will have 15,000 sq ft to begin, and be scalable to 25,000 sq ft, including a new ISO Class 8 (100,000) clean room for silicone molding and assembly. The facility will house an office, production floor and warehouse space dedicated to the Silicones Division, Hammond noted. Services offered at the new facility include highly-automated, precision molding, internal mold design and build capabilities.

Besides outgrowing its square footage, GW's Silicones Division has outgrown its current capacity.  "The reason we're expanding is to keep up with both new and existing orders," commented Hammond. "We'll be adding two new Engel machines to go with our existing equipment during the first quarter, so we'll be up to six to eight machines during the first quarter of 2012." The expansion is capable of supporting up to 18 machines. Based upon current projections, GW expects the expansion to add 25-50 jobs over the next three to five years.

"The expansion of GW Silicones reflects our commitment to the business and growing manufacturing jobs in Vermont," said Hammond. "It is encouraging to see our customers recognize the value that GW Silicones is bringing to the market.

GW Plastics serves the healthcare, automotive safety, and consumer/industrial markets, and has facilities in San Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; Queretaro, Mexico; Dongguan, China; and Cartago, Costa Rica. Read IMM's Plant Tour of GW Tucson.

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