Manufacturing Facility Expansion Update
In April 2017, we officially announced the future expansion of our Tacoma manufacturing facility. Eight months on, and everything is going according to plan. Our leadership team is in the final stages of reviewing various iterations of the blueprints to ultimately decide which building configuration will best suit our future manufacturing needs.
Key expansion benefits
- • An additional 88,000 sq. ft. in our plastics division
- • Expansion of our plastics press size range
- • Broadening of our secondary operations to improve flow and ergonomic assembly
- • Installation of a new, state-of-the-art vertical paint system
- • An additional 2,000 sq. ft. for CNC equipment within our metals division
- • The creation of 100 to 150 new jobs over the next five years for the Tacoma-Pierce County region
In the meantime
While expansion plans are moving forward, we continue to invest in and evaluate new, leading-edge equipment as part of our relentless pursuit of technology. We are in the middle of a program to replace all of our hydraulic thermoplastic injection molding presses with new, all-electric machines that provide better process control, are much quieter, more energy efficient, and easier to operate. This allows us to reduce scrap, improve flow times, and provide better overall customer support. In the past six months, we have added the following equipment to our already comprehensive range of manufacturing capabilities:
- • A FARO Edge Scan Arm HD to quickly qualify part geometry
- • A Doosan Puma TT1800 SY with Bar Feed (CNC Lathe) to reduce metal machining labor
- • An IL-885 Automated Media Blasting System for surface preparation of plastic parts
But we are not just making enhancements to our shop floor, we are also improving our information systems. We recently implemented a brand-new CRM system that allows us to consolidate all customer requests in one place and easily track progress against our key performance indicators. We can assign and track requests for quotes, generate forecasts, visualize our market segments, and monitor workload from sales and engineering to estimating. We can now easily see production ramp-up dates as well as the requirements for our new programs.
Estimated expansion timeline
- • Q1 2018: Start of building demolition
- • Q2 2018: Groundbreaking of new construction
- • First half of 2019: Grand opening of new manufacturing facility
The future is bright
Our decision to embark on such an ambitious factory expansion project is driven by the high demand for more complex machined plastic and metal opportunities than we’ve seen in several years, as well as our unwavering determination to shorten lead times, enhance product quality, keep our manufacturing costs as low as possible, and offer world-class value to the global aerospace supply chain. The outlook on the global aerospace sector for 2018 is very encouraging, with increasing aircraft production rates, major aircraft launch schedules (e.g. Boeing 777-X), and positive signs for the launch of a new middle-of-market aircraft.
To discuss your plastic and metal assembly manufacturing needs, please email Sales & Marketing Manager Jim Lee.