Growing ATC touts its American-made quality
A plastic injection molding and tooling company at 33 S. Pratt Parkway in Longmont, ATC specializes in developing custom molds and tools that require a high degree of precision.
The company has been on a growth spurt lately, adding new capabilities, space and employees. It now has about 35 employees, president Nigel Sutton said.
ATC can help clients tweak designs, create a mold and build a part — services fewer local shops are providing. Most mold and tool makers have split the two.
"There were quite a few shops that did that in this area," Sutton said. "We decided to stay in both businesses. We feel they complement each other, and there's still a market for both. You can come to us, and it's one-stop shopping."
ATC's client list includes Fortune 500 companies and small local firms. Most sign nondisclosure agreements with ATC.
The need for discretion is part of an industry trend that is injecting new life into ATC and similar companies, Sutton said.
"Manufacturing is starting to come back here, back to the U.S.," Sutton said. Offshoring work to places such as China "is just not all that it's cracked up to be."
Sutton believes American companies offer better service for customers and are easier with which to collaborate. Those are not their two largest advantages, however, Sutton said.
"The big thing is quality."
The other factor is patent and intellectual property rights. Companies are much better protected here than overseas, where trade secrets can be stolen or cheap knockoffs made.
"For the larger companies, it's too high of a risk," Sutton said.
As ATC has steadily added employees, it also has added additional space and new machines. In the past few years it expanded to add a clean-room molding facility, which lets ATC make molds that medical device makers and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can use to develop prototypes.
The clean-room technology, added in 2010, required ATC to expand to a second facility. It now has a 28,000-square-foot main facility and the 10,000-square-foot clean room, Sutton said.