Source: Carclo Technical Plastics.
Carclo MitchamShot from Carclo Technical Plastics's cleanroom in Mitcham, Surrey, UK.
Carclo Technical Plastics has announced plans for significant expansion at its manufacturing facility in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in the USA. The move follows major investments at the company's plants in the UK and the Czech Republic revealed in December 2012.
Carclo Technnical Plastics is the largest division within Carclo plc, a UK-based manufacturer of plastic products. The company focuses on technical mouldings, and has a strong foothold in assembled and packaged finished devices for the medical, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and ophthalmic sectors. Typical products include drug delivery devices and diagnostic consumables. Global sales of Carclo Technnical Plastics were GBP57.1 mn in 2012/13 with Carlco plc turning over GBP86.5 mn.
At Latrobe, the company will invest a total of US$5.8 mn in expanding the facility, adding 28,000 sq ft (2,601 sq m) of ground floor manufacturing space. In addition, there will be a second floor, covering approximately 1,500 sq ft, to house additional engineering and support functions.
The company expects to acquire an additional a total of 30 moulding machines and auxiliary equipment to fill the new space, the cost of which are not included in the US$5.8 mn investment figure.
The expansion will include a class 8 cleanroom covering a total area of 9,000 sq ft which will house ten of the 30 new moulding machines. Carclo say the expansion will also allow the increase in class 8 cleanrom areas as business needs require.
Speaking to Medical Plastics News about the investment, Rob Stutzman, Carclo’s director of global sales and marketing, said: "We are designing the build in a manner that will allow us to expand the cleanroom area within the 28,000 sq ft expansion. We haven’t bought all 30 machines yet but will add them as needed, specifying them around the customer requirement on a project by project basis."
The additional 30 machines will represent a 50% increase on the number of existing machines in Carclo's US manufacturing portfolio. Rob explained: "Putting this into context with our US manufacturing operations, currently we have 61 moulding machines so the additional 30 will represent a 50% increase in capacity. Specific to Latrobe we will more than double our manufacturing area as currently Latrobe has 24 machines."
Carclo have stated that the main reason behind the expansion is significant new customer acquisition in the diagnostics and drug delivery markets so far in 2013. Growth in the company's optics business is also an important factor.
Rob added: "Both our medical and optics businesses are experiencing double digit growth, with medical being the largest. It is an exciting time for us as this is the largest expansion within Carclo Technical Plastics since our move to our Czech facility. We made some difficult decisions back in 2005-2006 that have ultimately put us in the position to grow in the areas that are more profitable and stable for our employees and shareholders. Based on our activity level I expect we will fill this capacity in short order."
Carclo Technical Plastics has manufacturing operations in the UK, east and west USA, the Czech Republic, India and China.
Credit: The editor of Medical Plastics News was alerted to this expansion after reading this article on PlasticsNews.com.