PHILADELPHIA—When production space runs tight, that usually means business is growing. And Stockwell Elastomerics needed some breathing room to chase new opportunities.
Fortunately, that room is here.
The firm just opened a 10,000-sq.-ft. building, the third on its Philadelphia campus, for additional warehousing of raw materials and distribution. The project represents a $3.75 million investment. President William B. Stockwell said the space is needed to pursue growth opportunities, as sales have been strong for the last two years.
The company already has added 15 jobs in the last 10 months, bringing its employment to 90. Stockwell said he anticipates a few more being added in the coming six months.
"We would not be able to grow as much as we have without the promise of the new building," Stockwell said. "We were really tight here until the new building opened. It was a real challenge.
"Having more raw materials on hand will help us be more aggressive in the marketplace. Now that we're under roof and building up a fresh supply of material, we'll be more aggressive in getting out there and seeing some of these new prospects within our markets."
The firm has two primary businesses—molding and fabrication. The molding side accounts for about 30 percent of the company's $25 million in sales and is housed in a 17,000-sq.-ft. building. Stockwell operates nine liquid injection molding presses, utilizing liquid silicone rubber, and six compression molding presses that use high consistency silicone rubber.
The fabrication side is housed at the firm's 33,000-sq.-ft. building and is the bulk of the company's sales.
Silicone compounds represent about 95 percent of the molding business and 75 percent of the fabrication business. The firm uses some other compounds such as Roger Corp.'s Poron-branded urethane foam in addition to some neoprene and EPDMs, but liquid and gum silicones are the predominant compounds.
The company makes custom gaskets, seals, cushioning pads and elastomeric components. Its main industries include defense, security and electronics; LED lighting; and medical—all are growing for the firm, Stockwell said.
"We have a lot of different customers out there," he said. "We have a lot of mid-sized customers out there with a lot of demand. The economy is very strong right now, and our customers are focused on what we do best."
The new warehouse will allow the firm to respond quickly. Stockwell said rapid response is one of the keys to his company's success. While the added space won't directly add more manufacturing, he said it will allow it to stock more raw materials and free up space within its existing footprint to add more equipment, including additional tables, slitting equipment and a fifth waterjet cutter.