Injection molder, extruder, and moldmaker Sil-Pro (Delano, MN) has acquired a building across the street from its existing operation that will house its expanding moldmaking business and allow it to expand cleanroom injection molding operations.
Brian Higgins, Sil-Pro's VP sales and marketing, told PlasticsToday that his company has purchased a new 55,000-sq-ft facility adjacent to its existing 35,000-sq-ft plant. Higgins said the company's tooling department had out grown its allotted room in the existing building, with the recent addition of some new equipment requiring new space.
The tooling operation, including new equipment, will be moved across the street into an area that roughly doubles the total amount of space it occupies. In the existing plant, the company's cleanroom will be expanded into the space vacated by the tooling operation. That expanded cleanroom will house the three thermoplastic injection molding machines Sil-Pro has on order. Higgins said those presses range in size from 40 to 100 tons, with delivery expected in October.
Founded as a silicone injection molding house focused on the medical segment, Higgins said that Sil-Pro has since expanded into silicone extrusion, moldmaking, and most recently, injection molding of traditional thermoplastics. Higgins said the company has also begun to offer contract manufacturing, design, and assembly work.
Sil-Pro is occupying about one-third of the new building, leasing out the remaining two-thirds for the next two years. At that point in time, the company has the option to take over the full building, and Higgins said that if growth rates are maintained, it anticipates utilizing the entire facility.
The company has approximately 145 employees at this time, adding "a few" recently, according to Higgins, with more to come. It is currently seeking project and process engineers.
"Business is good," Higgins said. "We're having continued, increased competition. It's always challenging, but we're continuing to experience growth."
Sil-Pro said in a release that the investments in capacity and capability were in response to customer demand and growing tooling volumes, including requests for tighter tolerance tools, and more complex prototype and production molds. The toolshop, which previously occupied 7500 sq ft, was at full capacity in terms of floor space. The new facility, which contains 25,000 sq ft of newly renovated space, provides the room now for necessary for additional machine tooling and staff, as well as room for future expansion.
Sil-Pro purchased a Hermle 5-axis CNC machining center coupled with a System 3R WorkMaster automation system. "The Hermle 5-axis machining center coupled with a machine feeding robot is truly state-of-the-art moldmaking, extreme precision and highly efficient," Kevin Carver, Sil-Pro president, said in a release.
Sil-Pro said the expanded tooling facility and equipment will allow it to implement standardization of mold base platforms and in-house stocking of mold inserts, cutting processing time while reducing the overall mold-building expense.