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Applied Silicone begins upgrades at California plant

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SANTA PAULA, Calif.—Applied Silicone Corp. has completed the first stage of planned expansions at its silicone manufacturing and warehouse operations in Santa Paula.

The maker of long-term implantable silicones for the medical device and critical health care market now has 39,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space on a 90-acre site in Santa Paula, the company said. When all planned expansions are complete, the facility will have 70,000 square feet of space.

"Our expanded facility allows us to streamline daily demands on production resources and gives us improved capabilities in inventory control, shipping and receiving," said Roberto Jimenez, manufacturing director at Applied Silicone.

The expansion includes the installation of two new mixers that increase elastomer base manufacturing by 50 percent to approximately 16,000 pounds per day, the company said. That capacity will increase as the expansions progress.

"The additional capacity will enable Applied Silicone to continue to meet the growing demand for more sophisticated, customized long-term implantable silicones," said Norm Riley, the company's technical marketing director.

To support Applied Silicone's increasing production needs, the company will add a new, 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in the first quarter of 2014, specifically designed for medical grade silicone polymer synthesis, according to Riley. A 4,000-sq.-ft. office laboratory will go online at the same time, he said.

Construction also is in progress for an extra 15,000 square feet of production and research and development laboratories at Santa Paula, he said.

Capital investment so far for the expansion, including equipment and supporting services, exceeds $5 million, according to Riley. By the time the expansion is complete in 2015, total expenditures will exceed $10 million, he said.

Applied Silicone has hired 10 workers to support the expansion, for a total of about 70, Riley said. The upcoming expansions will increase the head count by about 20.

The company does not plan to establish any new facilities outside Santa Paula, though it uses independent production facilities to ensure there are no interruptions in supplying customers, Riley said.

Founded in 1987, Applied Silicone has enjoyed annual double-digit growth since its founding, the company said. All of its products are designed to meet FDA and ISO 10993 requirements within an ISO 9001:2008 certified quality system.