Plastic Components expands Engineering Resource Center

Plastic Components Inc.
N116 W18271 Morse Drive, Germantown
Industry: Injection molding
Employees: 57

Germantown injection molding company Plastic Components Inc. makes plastic parts for clients who manufacture a variety of products.

Until recently, customers had their parts engineered and designed by a third party. But Plastic Components added those services to its arsenal when it opened its new Engineering Resource Center in mid-2012 , said Ryan Duffey, vice president.

“We wanted to give our customers the ability to design and prototype with us,” Duffey said. “We could build some small tools, but we didn’t have the machinery to build a prototype tool in the lead time a customer usually expects for a prototype tool.”

Plastic Components has invested in new machines for its Engineering Resource Center.

Now it has that machinery. Plastic Components has invested $1.4 million in new equipment and expanded into a leased 15,000-square-foot building next door last month, he said. A third toolmaker and two engineers have been hired to staff the operation.

It has several different sized mold bases, which toolmakers fill with custom inserts to quickly turn prototype projects around.

The added services have been very popular with existing customers, said Rick Riesterer, manager of business development at PCI. The company expected to make two to three prototypes per month, but has already made more than 80 in the past year, with room for growth.

At PCI’s headquarters, automated machinery manufactures customized plastic parts.

“We went in eyes wide open and started offering this to our customers, and we still are really doing this with existing customers,” Riesterer said.

In addition, Plastic Components has two other locations. The company’s 40,000-square-foot headquarters is used for manufacturing larger and more customized injection molded parts.

With the ERC operations and some warehousing moving next door, the company has additional manufacturing capacity in the headquarters. It has added one of six planned 400-ton capacity, $250,000 machines in that space, Duffey said.

And in 2011, it opened its second manufacturing facility in the same industrial park. The 15,000-square-foot space is fully automated and there are no employees in the building most of the time.

Small, high-run parts are made continuously with five 50-ton, $250,000 injection machines, and boxes of completed parts are cleared off conveyor belts every 48 hours or so. Duffey plans to add two 90-ton machines to the high-tech facility by the end of the year.

Plastic Components has a strong automation and robotics focus, so it grows through design and innovation on the engineering side, Duffey said.

“All three segments of the business are growing,” he said. “What separates us from our competitors is we can run the material that an engineer would like to run (without concessions). There’s really a need in the marketplace for this.”

The company had revenues of $20 million in 2012, and is on pace for 19 percent growth in 2013.

Plastic Components serves mainly the small engine, fixture and plumbing industries. It exports about 20 percent of its products.

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