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Composiflex has broken ground on an expansion that will double its available production area, expanding its company footprint by 60%.
Mike Chesley, Composiflex general manager, acknowledged the uncertainty still present in the economy but noted, “We cannot wait any longer in light of active projects which we expect to transition into full production in 2010.”
The expansion is planned to house new equipment that will support manufacture of even larger and more complex parts than Composiflex can readily handle today. Among the capital expenditures being evaluated are additional pieces of composite processing equipment, advanced CNC machinery, and a second, larger filament winder with increased automation capabilities. The candidate equipment is being considered as enhancements to the company‘s already strong vertical integration model.
Doubling of the manufacturing area will also allow streamlining of processes that cannot be accomplished in today’s lay-out. “The rapid growth we’ve experienced over the past several years forced us to put things where we could make them fit, not necessarily where they should be. Still, since our business is primarily the design and manufacture of custom components, optimizing process flow is more of a challenge than it would be for more standardized product manufacturers,” said Chesley.
In preparation for planning the revised plant lay-out, a “Lean Manufacturing” team is currently engaged in training with the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (IRC). Phase 1 involves 40 hours of advanced training for the Lean Team. Phase 2 will engage the entire production staff.
Chesley sums it up, “With this expansion, Composiflex is making a commitment to our customers and to our employees. We’re setting ourselves up to be in the best position possible as the market improves.”
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