by Lu Rahman
GW Plastics explains what the growth of its healthcare business means for the company.
In response to its growing healthcare and automotive business, GW Plastics has recently completed an expansion of its San Antonio, Texas manufacturing facility. The Vermont-based contract manufacturing company has expanded into a new warehouse facility while converting its existing warehouse into advanced contract manufacturing space.
GW Plastics began work on a 14,000 square foot expansion in January to accommodate the additional growth of its medical device and automotive safety-critical business in the southwestern US. Now complete, the facility has a total of 51,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing and external warehouse space, allowing for improved process flow and future growth.
In addition to the new 14,000 square foot external warehouse, GW Plastics has converted its existing warehouse into a new 5,000 square foot white-room manufacturing floor, which will feature advanced moulding equipment and material feeding systems. The space will be capable of housing an additional 12-14 injection moulding machines, and the company will begin adding new machines in May with the flexibility to grow as needed.
Converting warehousing space into additional manufacturing facilities is a model that GW Plastics has done before. Its Tucson, facility completed a similar expansion in 2014, where it offloaded the majority of finished products into an off-site warehouse and converted the previous warehousing space into a manufacturing floor to allow for the continued growth of the plant. GW Tucson has since been able to significantly increase its moulding and medical device contract assembly capabilities, adding new multi-shot moulding machines and automated assembly equipment.
Specialising in the advanced manufacturing of safety-critical medical devices and automotive components and assemblies, GW San Antonio focuses on tight-tolerance and high-volume thermoplastic programs. Its healthcare capabilities centre around manufacturing medical devices, including surgical instruments, high-volume disposables for diagnostics, drug delivery devices, and medical packaging.
“Our customers are some of the largest and most innovative in the industry, so we have to be able to support their technical demands and global growth needs,” said Timothy Reis, GW Plastics VP of healthcare business development.
“It is not enough to have ISO-certified facilities. Contract manufacturers have to be in the right locations, have the right processes and quality standards in place, and have and the ability to invest for their customers. We want to be a true partner for our customers, and this US–based expansion allows us to continue growing with them.”
“GW San Antonio has come to the point where we cannot continue growing without investing in this new space,” said Rafael Sojo, GW San Antonio plant manager.
“All of the GW Plastics facilities are rapidly growing, especially in the area of contract manufacturing, and we want to continue expanding our corporate strategy of developing new business within our current healthcare and automotive markets.”
In the last two years, GW Plastics has completed expansions in its Bethel, Vermont; Tucson, Arizona; and Dongguan, China facilities, as well as its thermoplastics and silicones manufacturing facilities in Royalton, VT. The company also celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016.
“GW Plastics has enjoyed ongoing year-over-year record revenue, and we are committed to supporting this growth by investing in our people, infrastructure, and facilities,” said Brenan Riehl, GW Plastics president and CEO.
“We are willing to proactively invest for our customers to ensure we are staying ahead of their supply chain growth requirements.”