DELANO, Minn.—Business has been good for Sil-Pro L.L.C., to the point where it's bursting at the seams.
The firm recently repurposed 3,000 square feet at its 35,000-sq.-ft. site in Delano to add 10 new silicone molding machines during the coming months. Two already have been installed and Brian Higgins, vice president of business development, said the firm intends to regularly add the rest as business dictates.
Financial details were not disclosed.
"We've had good growth since the inception of the company and it's continuing," Higgins said. "We've had as much growth in the last year or two than we've ever had, and the foreseeable future seems to be offering more of the same. As long as we can keep up staffing, growing and support, we should be able to grow."
The move fully utilizes Sil-Pro's available manufacturing facility. The firm also operates a 50,000-sq.-ft. site for thermoplastic molding at its Delano campus, which also houses the company's corporate offices, tooling department and other support systems.
Both sites operate in Class 7 (10,000) clean room environments and produce products primarily for the medical industry—including long-term implant, disposables and surgical instruments.
Higgins said the firm is discussing further expansion options in response to medical-related growth. While no moves have been finalized, the firm has enough land to double its 50,000-sq.-ft. operation.
"It's definitely a good industry," Higgins said of medical. "We're in a good position geographically to support the large medical device OEMs and a host of smaller companies as well. It's a good location for tapping into a good work force."
In addition to thermoplastic molding/overmolding, the firm offers a variety of secondary operations. Its silicone site, which houses about 30 molding machines, according to Higgins, also does pad printing, bonding, slitting, sub assembly and other secondary operations.
The thermoplastic operation houses 12 machines and does some assembly work, pressure decay testing, pad printing and ultrasonic welding, among other secondary operations. The firm added thermoplastic capabilities about seven years ago thanks to organic growth coming from customer requests.
"A lot of our technical people came from plastic injection molding backgrounds and then learned silicone molding at Sil-Pro," Higgins said. "It got to a point where we had these people with more combined experience in processing thermoplastics and a customer base that we have a good reputation with. It was a no-brainer investment."
Its most recent capability was the addition of Machining Solutions, formerly MMI Precision, which provides high precision machining to the medical, aerospace, defense and specialty equipment markets.
Sil-Pro purchased the machining solutions business from its sister company, Precision Associates Inc. Higgins said the acquisition significantly added to its manufacturing capabilities.
"We've evolved into a full-service contract manufacturer," Higgins said. "A lot of these additions are in conjunction with silicone or other core competencies. We can bring as many of these internal competencies together and build a silicone part with multiple plastic parts or overmolding. And we still do individual components of each."