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Entrepreneurs

MADE Winners: Manufacturer Category

By Staff Reports, posted Sep 16, 2022

Cape Fear Customs

capefearcustoms.com
 
Year founded: 2019
 
Number of employees: 21
 
Top official: Matthew Gillilan, owner and operator
 
Company description: Cape Fear Customs is Wilmington’s truck and off-road adventure store, specializing in overlanding, 4x4s and custom fabrication.
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “In the past six months we have brought on five additional workers to continue working at the pace we currently are. We hope to continue that into 2023.”
 
What are your future goals for the product? “We would like to double our trailer production, bring on a metal fabrication appreciation and begin shipping our trailers inside the U.S.”
 
What current challenges are you facing? “Cost of materials on the rise, in addition to the freight costs to get the materials to our door”
 

Paperfoam Packaging

paperfoam.com
 
Year founded: 1998
 
Number of employees: 350 globally, 55 in the U.S.
 
Top officials: Malcolm Ford, COO, and Willem Derkman, CEO
 
Company description: PaperFoam makes sustainable packaging products using industrial potato starch, cellulose fibers, water and a proprietary ingredient.
 
How has your company grown since inception? “Averaging 10% growth year on year”
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Company growth has created local job opportunities for a variety of skills.”
 
What are your future goals for your products? “To replace single use plastic items wherever we can”
 

Rulmeca Corp.

rulmecacorp.com
 
Year founded: 2003
 
Number of employees: 14
 
Top official: Michael Gawinski, president
 
Company description: Rulmeca manufacturers motorized pulleys (internally-powered, hermetically sealed, oil-filled conveyor belt drives) from 3 inches in diameter at 0.03 HP up to 40 inches in diameter at 330 HP.
 
How has your company grown since its inception? “Starting in October 2003 with two employees in a small office and a shipping container serving as a shop, we’ve grown to 14 employees in a 30,000-square-foot building. Our facility has CNC lathes, overhead cranes, assembly/test stands, an autoclave and a local assembly parts inventory of more than 4,000 different components.”
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “In addition to the employees we have hired locally, thanks, in part, to our close cooperation with UNCW and Cape Fear Community College, we purchase materials, such as steel, oil, electronic components and lumber locally, as much as possible.” 
 
What are your future goals for this product? “Increase our annual revenue by hiring more sales and production people, increasing our local motorized pulley production rate, bringing the application and finishing of nitrile rubber lagging in-house, and bringing the welding and machining of complex stainless steel pulley shells in-house”
 

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