Originally Published MPMN October 2005
Molding Company Expands U.S. Operations, Adds U.K. Facility
To meet increasing demand for rapid-injection-molded parts and help design engineers bring new products to market faster, The Protomold Company, Inc. (Minneapolis; www.protomold. com) is expanding its North American manufacturing operations by 50%. Additionally, by the end of 2005, the company will open a new facility in the United Kingdom to serve the European market. The U.K. facility will deliver the same quick-turnaround prototype and low-volume part production service currently available only to the firm's U.S. customers.
This event marks the company's first international expansion and its third major North American expansion in the past six years. "Our U.S.-based customers have experienced dramatic benefits from our online ordering and fast parts delivery," said Bradley Cleveland, the firm's president and CEO. "Rapid-injection-molded parts aren't currently available to Canadian or European designers, so we look forward to introducing ourselves to these new markets."
Fueled by a $2.5-million equity investment from Private Capital Management Inc. (PCM), Protomold is adding a 20,000-sq ft facility in Maple Plain, MN, and a 25,000-sq ft facility in the West Midlands area of the United Kingdom. The U.K. facility will include divisions for sales, customer service, and manufacturing. By the end of 2006 approximately 40 personnel will be employed at the plant. The U.K. operation will initially focus on the prototyping and low-volume production needs of design engineers in the United Kingdom and Germany. Future plans include expansion into other western European countries.
In 2004, the company won a Tekne Award for best emerging company in the advanced manufacturing category. The Tekne Award program acknowledges innovations and leaders of Minnesota's technology businesses.
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