Plastikos Inc., a precision injection molder of medical devices and components headquartered in Erie, PA, announced the construction of a new medical molding facility in support of its cleanroom medical molding growth. The two-part expansion plan will consist of a 33,000-square-foot, stand-alone facility—Plastikos Medical—located less than a quarter-mile from the company’s headquarters. The target completion date for phase I of this project is scheduled for summer 2019.
In late 2014, Plastikos broke ground on its first major medical expansion, which consisted of a 17,000-square-foot addition onto its existing headquarters. Since then, Plastikos’ medical sales have increased more than 100%, which has prompted the need for additional cleanroom medical molding capacity. Plastikos’ primary fields of expertise relating to plastic manufacturing include medication delivery systems, surgical eye care, microfluidics and electronic connectors, among others.
The facility will include all of the corresponding support departments, including a dedicated tool maintenance room, mold storage, metrology lab and office space. Initially, phase I of the project will include an ISO Class 7 (Class 10,000) cleanroom and will accommodate 10 new injection molding machines. Each machine will be equipped with its own integrated three-axis robot and cavity pressure monitoring system, among other advanced technologies. The new medical facility will incorporate LED lighting and use natural light with advanced building system management technology.
Plastikos’ Manufacturing Manager, Rob Cooney, commented: “Our goal is to align this new molding facility with complimentary capabilities and equipment that we currently utilize within Plastikos’ current ISO 7 cleanroom. This standardization approach allows us to provide our medical customers with scheduling flexibility, along with several other proprietary benefits that we have seen in our earlier expansion efforts.”
Looking further ahead, phase II of the expansion will consist of an additional 10 molding machines as customer demand further increases. Plastikos’ production fleet will increase to 45 injection molding machines with the completion of phase I and the phase II expansion will add another 10 presses to the fleet, thereby raising the total machine count to 55 molding machines.
Philip Katen, Plastikos President & General Manager, explained, “The new medical facility is being strategically designed to enable us to double the size of the new cleanroom molding floor, ultimately giving us the ability to accommodate 20 [additional] medical molding machines with another future planned expansion in Phase II.”
The need for additional staffing has sparked an increase in recruiting efforts, as Plastikos ramps up to support 24/7 production across both its medical and electronics molding departments. Additional staff will also allow for a smooth transition, as some individuals move to the new facility upon its completion. “With the local economy in mind, we hope to continue to positively contribute to the local employment picture, and further advance and strengthen the regional plastics industry,” Katen added.