FIRESTONE - ARC Group Worldwide Inc. plans to double its Advanced Forming Technology Inc. manufacturing operation in Firestone in the next two years.

New machinery and workers will be added at AFT Inc.'s existing plant at 7040 Weld County Road 20 in Firestone, according to Thomas Houck, general manager of the plant and vice president of U.S. metal injection molding operations for ARC Group Worldwide. He declined to put a dollar figure on capital expansion costs, other than to say it would be "several million dollars."

The plant, located east of I-25, currently has 245 workers and is hiring engineers, tool designers and others, Houck said. AFT manufactures products for customer companies in the automotive, medical, aerospace, firearms and consumer industries.

"This gives us a competitive edge, whether it's new product development or internally for cost reduction," Houck said.

AFT is expanding to meet needs of its customer companies, all of whom are growing in the 25-plus percent range annually, Houck said. He declined to give names of clients. Put in global terms, AFT's expansion now reflects a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, he said.

Most products AFT makes are shipped to companies in the United States, although the company also ships products to Europe and Asia, Houck said. Parent company ARC Group Worldwide in Deland, Florida, (Nasdaq: ARCW) was founded in 1987. ARC Group Worldwide focuses on metal injection molding manufacturing through its subsidiary companies, which include FloMet LLC and Injectamax, both in Deland, and TeknaSeal LLC in Minneapolis.