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A CNC Machine Is Carefully Loaded Before Leaving The Docks Of Proto Labs' Maple Plain Headquarters. (Photo: Business Wire)

Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE: PRLB), a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer, has completed the move of its CNC Milling operation from Maple Plain to its new production facility in Plymouth, Minn., making way in Maple Plain for conversion of the previous manufacturing space to office space. The new 166,350 sq. ft. plant in Plymouth now houses a large share of Proto Labs’ plastic and metal CNC machines along with about 175 office and manufacturing workers. Over the next few years, the company plans to nearly double the number of employees in Plymouth. Proto Labs’ tool-making, sampling, and research operations will remain in Maple Plain.
A sea of CNC machines fill the production floor at Proto Labs' new Plymouth facility, which still ha ...

A sea of CNC machines fill the production floor at Proto Labs' new Plymouth facility, which still has additional space for expansion. (Photo: Business Wire)

Employees at Proto Labs and members of the media were invited to an open house on Thursday, April 24 to get a firsthand glimpse of a facility on the brink of production. Shortly after, Proto Labs began rapidly moving its industrial equipment in waves from its Maple Plain headquarters to Plymouth, a strategy designed to avoid any production downtime. It worked. “During the move, we’ve maintained a 99.7 percent on-time rate of shipped parts with our Firstcut [CNC machining] service and are now fully operational in our new facility,” says Mike Kenison, Proto Labs Vice President of Manufacturing.

With the hiring of a new CEO, the introduction of two new manufacturing processes and the acquisition of Raleigh, North Carolina-based additive manufacturer, Fineline Prototyping, Inc., it has been a busy first half of 2014 for Proto Labs with no indication of slowing down in the near future.

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