Contract manufacturer GW Plastics is expanding its affiliate, GW Silicones, to accommodate growth in its liquid silicone rubber (LSR) medical device business.
The expansion at GW Silicones (Royalton, Vt.) includes an additional 3,000 ft² of Class 8 cleanroom space capable of housing 8 to 10 new injection-molding machines. GW Plastics said it plans to invest about $2 million in construction, new technology, and equipment.
This is the fourth expansion of GW Silicones since its inception in 2008, and comes on the heels of a just-completed 30,000 ft² expansion of GW Plastics’ manufacturing and technology center in Royalton earlier this year.
Its latest expansion will allow GW Silicones to operate from a 12,000 ft², Class 8 ISO 9001 and ISO 13485-certified cleanroom equipped with all-electric and hybrid molding machines for process control and product consistency. Multiple screw and barrel assemblies for each press allow for the molding of parts from fractions of a gram to larger pound shots, providing a wide range of molding capabilities, according to the company.
“Working closely with our in-house thermoplastics mold division has allowed for this type of flexibility, improvement, and growth,” said GW Silicones GM Mark Hammond in a news release. “There are not many companies who can say that they have the capabilities to build molds like these, and we could not be prouder or more excited for the future.”
LSR can be used to create complex molded parts with finer detail and tighter tolerances than are often possible with other materials. When molded onto thermoplastic substrates, the resulting multi-material performance options are numerous. Having in-house LSR molding, tooling, and product development capabilities provides strategic benefits to GW Plastics’ customers, according to company president & CEO Brenan Riehl.
“Everything stems back to our people, technology, and communication. There is no greater benefit than having talented mold designers, program managers and process engineers all under one roof,” Riehl said. “Our ability to provide product design assistance early in the development process, combined with world-class, in-house tooling and global production capabilities, allows us to offer innovative, high-quality, cost-effective solutions to our customers.”