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Advanced Molding expanding for second time in two years

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CIRCLE PINES, Minn.—Advanced Molding Technologies L.L.C. is undergoing its second expansion in two years to handle increased customer demand for its products.

The privately held custom injection molder is constructing a 36,000-sq.-ft. facility adjacent to its current factory, according to Steve Jenkins, business development manager for the company. The new building will give the firm more than 84,000 square feet at its two plants.

About 8,000 square feet of the new plant will be dedicated to Class 7 clean room production. Other space will be used for packaging and distribution of a complete product line Advanced recently purchased and molds for medical devices.

Jenkins said the company will distribute the products from the new site to customers. Advanced's expansion also makes room for a complete mold manufacturing shop as well as six to eight additional molding machines, expected to be added in the next year, he said.

An additional six to eight molding machines per year likely will be purchased over the next three years, Jenkins said. "In the next three years we'll probably have to expand again."

Once the addition is up and operating, some production will move from the firm's present facility to the new site, freeing up space to handle more non-clean room production in half the plant and hard-sided clean room molding, including ADCF molding, in the other portion, he said.

Advanced has been growing rapidly during the last two years. In 2012, the manufacturer expanded its Circle Pines plant 16,000 square feet and added four new molding machines as well as a packaging line.

"Business has been very strong across the board," said Brett Nelson, founder and owner of the company. "We have experienced substantial growth in our four primary markets: medical, construction, consumer products and precision automotive. This gives Advanced a broad base to expand on."

A toolmaker and mechanical engineer, Nelson has kept tooling and engineering as central segments of the business, the firm said. Nelson stressed his company's prime focus has been maintaining Advanced's core values while it expanded, and has invested in its employees both personally and professionally.

A molder of a variety of resins—including urethanes, thermoplastic urethanes and thermoplastic elastomers—the company expects to complete the majority of the expansion project by Jan. 1, he said.

"We're projecting a lot of growth in the two-shot area for TPUs and TPEs," according to Jenkins. "We expect our business to grow quite a bit. Our 2014-15 business plan is complete, and the future looks positive for us."

Formed in 1999, Advanced specializes in precision molded parts and medical device assembly.

The company currently has 30 molding machines ranging in size from 20 tons to 500 tons and employs more that 175.