Industrial Manufacturing Inc. will build a plant and expand twofold, in part to accommodate the introduction of a new automatic latex condom testing machine.
The company makes equipment used in a variety of industries at its 30,000-sq.-ft. facility in Albany, Ga. Growing sales and new business in the past year have prompted the firm to build a 60,000-sq.-ft. factory in the city, according to Vice President Daniel Underwood and Dan Bryan, who handles marketing and sales. The facility's cost wasn't disclosed.
It will take as much as two years to complete the project, Underwood said at the International Latex Conference, held July 30-31 in Fairlawn, Ohio. Future orders, including a number for the new condom testing machine, are behind the effort.
The executives didn't say if the firm will add new machinery. Future needs will determine whether its 80-person work force is increased. Underwood said the company probably will sell its current plant once the new building is up.
Industrial Manufacturing makes machinery and parts for a number of industries. Founded in 1979, the firm makes and stockpiles parts for conventional machinery, and produces and installs custom-made equipment, using its in-house staff of design engineers.
The firm constantly updates and improves its products to remain ahead of the field, Bryan said.
Included are those used to test or make condoms and other latex products such as finger cots and probe covers for the medical industry. ``We make them for everything from tires to poultry to pharmaceuticals to latex,'' Underwood said.
The Albany-based company recently developed and is selling a fourth-generation automatic loading and testing latex condom machine, called Prolon 3, that discharges the product rolled and ready for processing. ``We're the only U.S. company making machines that do this process,'' according to Underwood.
The current model is a much more advanced device than the prototype and Prolon 1 and 2, and is covered by four patents, Underwood said.
Prolon 3 picks up condoms individually as they come off a dipping line in bulk load, and automatically separates the condoms, loads, tests and rolls them for packaging. ``The machine is more cost effective than others because we don't use a wet process, we dry test,'' he said. ``Most others are manually loaded while ours is automatically loaded. It's a much better process and it saves customers money.''
The company already has sold several of the machines and has contracts for others to be supplied in the next few months, the officials said.