Pilot Plastics

Pilot Plastics, Inc

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Pilot Plastics set out to build a brand new, state-of-the-art plastic injection molding facility to allow the company to compete on a global level.

Because of the overall complexity, Pilot Plastics turned to Ray Fogg Building Methods immediately to help them with the initial site selection and design development. The driving forces of the site selection were the availability of electrical power, the quality of the local work force, and the ability for future expansion.

The facility was designed with an overhead crane system that could be used to service and quickly interchange the molds required for the plastic injection machines. Below floor troughs with access plates were incorporated to distribute the large volumes of cooling water required by the injection machines while keeping the floor space clear and unobstructed for material traffic. This heat gain from the equipment posed a significant challenge for the cooling and ventilation of the building in order to keep the machine operators comfortable and productive.

In 2004, Pilot Plastics turned to Fogg to help alleviate their constraint for additional production capacity. The new production area needed to be higher to accommodate the next generation of injection molding machines. The resulting new addition more than doubled the production floor space.

Early in 2006, Ray Fogg Building Methods received a call from Pilot Plastics to discuss what options, if any, were available for expansion at this location, as they were again at full capacity and out of warehouse space. The site that was once viewed as large enough to handle future expansions was, in fact, full. The land adjacent to the site bordered other building and roads on three sides. The fourth side of the site bordered on a steep embankment that dropped off quickly, some 60’ below to a storm water detention pond being used to control storm water in the industrial park. The site seemed to be unbuildable due to numerous factors – steep slopes and huge erosion problems.

The design-build process that has made Ray Fogg Building Methods dominant in the industry would be tested in this application of building design on a very difficult site. After carefully accessing the site and evaluating the soil conditions, a building system was designed that incorporated a multilevel building design that efficiently maximized space, minimized fill material required and used the intrinsic structure of the building to help retain the horizontal soil pressures that would have normally needed expensive retaining walls to contain. The end result was a unique, one of a kind building that met the needs of the Pilot Plastic Company, and that could be built quickly and economically. The design-build process is unique in its ability to deliver this type of product in the market place. The finished addition added 65,537 sq. ft. of main floor warehouse space, 16,875 sq. ft of warehouse space below the main floor and 12 recessed loading docks. The entire project took approximately seven months from the start of design to final move in date.