CANASTOTA — Thermold Corp. in Canastota doubled its work force this year in the midst of new sales growth.
The manufacturer has been able to grow its business mainly by pursuing more work with existing clients, says Jerry Rath, vice president for business development. The company makes injection-molded parts for a range of industries.
Thermold began calling on many of its existing customers more aggressively after new ownership took over in 2008. Those efforts sparked growth and eventually prompted the firm to expand its manufacturing workweek from one shift four days a week to three shifts working five days a week and running 24 hours a day.
The manufacturer phased in the new schedule gradually over the last 18 months.
The sales efforts prompted the recent hiring binge as the company expanded its manufacturing hours, Rath says. Thermold employed 53 people at the end of last year and is now up to 106.
Thermold isn’t done hiring yet. Company leaders are looking to add another 30 people in the coming months to keep up with the new business they expect, says Michael Reilly, chief operating officer.
Hiring has occurred for manufacturing, engineering, quality control, and support staff, Reilly says.
The firm has also been adding new equipment. It spent more than $1.5 million on new gear over the last two years. The company added a number of new injection-molding machines, a laser welder, prototyping equipment, and more.
Thermold will spend another $1.1 million to $1.2 million on capital investments within the next 12 months. The company expects sales growth of 70 percent for this year, Reilly says.
“We think we’re looking at continued growth over the next few years,” he adds. “We think we have a pretty good pipeline of products right now.”
Thermold has customers throughout the country. It crafts components for firearms, fire and safety products, the heating and cooling industry, and the automotive industry.
The company produces plastic parts that are eventually coated with chrome and used as accents in cars. It also produces housings for thermostats, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Many of the parts Thermold produces go to replace metal parts in finished products, Rath says. That makes those products lighter, and also quieter.
Reduced noise is a key selling point for the company in the heating and cooling market, Rath notes.
A sizeable chunk of Thermold’s recent growth has come from the firearms industry. The company has a strong engineering group, Rath says, and has been showing customers it can replace some metal parts in finished firearms with plastic.
“If you can replace metal with plastic, you’ve eliminated the chance for rust or corrosion,” Rath says.
Thermold, based in 33,000 square feet at 7059 Harp Road, has created components for both rifles and handguns.
Thermold has some promising new opportunities in markets such as handheld power tools, Reilly says. The company also has some potential new business on tap in the automotive and sporting-goods markets.
“We have a couple of big customers on the horizon we’re close to closing contracts with,” Reilly says.
Jeremy Schwimmer, Thermold CEO, acquired the company from its previous owners in 2008. The business launched in 1945.