LONDON, Ontario—Starlim North America Corp. is on pace to complete the first phase of a multi-year expansion project at its liquid silicone rubber molding factory in London by the end of this summer.
The subsidiary of Austria's Starlim Sterner Group broke ground on the $20 million project in September 2016 as part of a five- to seven-year plan to boost capacity to match the growth projected in the company's business plan.
"Our company is privately held and the owner has a really long-term horizon in terms of planning," said John Timmerman, Starlim North America vice president of sales and marketing. "The current construction is based on five to seven years, but we're actually already planned out construction-wise for an additional five years should that be necessary. We're planned out to 2025 in terms of capacity and sales."
Starlim opened the 65,000-sq.-ft. London facility in 2004 with just five injection molding machines, and the firm said it has continuously grown production capabilities there, bringing the plant to maximum capacity and creating the need for the expansion.
This first step in the project will add 180,000 square feet to the factory and more than triple production capacity, according to the firm.
Included in the expansion is a two-story office tower, three additional production bays, an expanded post-curing room, and ISO 7 and ISO 8 clean rooms. Starlim will add 40 staff members to the location, though Timmerman wouldn't disclose what that will make the site's total employment.
He said some sections of the expansion, including the offices, will open this winter, while the production area will be completed last.
"Basically we're building around the whole facility, and it was done in phases," Timmerman said. "We have construction on three of the four sides, so it wraps around the existing building without interfering with production or shipping. It's a very intricate plan to make all that work, and we won't have any interruptions when we connect the construction site to the existing production facility because it's all pre-engineered."