PLASTICRAFT TO BUILD IOWA FACILITY

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Plasticraft Manufacturing Co. plans to set up a custom injection molding plant in Durant, Iowa, this year.

The Albertville, Ala., firm will invest about $3.1 million to build and equip the 70,000-square-foot facility, estimated its president, Edwin Ingram. Plasticraft initially will run about 12 injection presses at Durant, with clamping forces of 150-770 tons, Ingram said in a telephone interview.

Plasticraft chose Durant to be close to a major customer. Ingram did not confirm a Des Moines Register report that stated furniture producer Hon Industries Inc. of Muscatine, Iowa, is the major customer, but he did confirm that the Durant operation mainly will mold office furniture components.

Ingram expects to install new and refurbished Van Dorn presses at Durant. About $500,000 of its investment there will be refurbished equipment stored in Albertville. Plasticraft plans to begin construction in March and start Durant's molding operation in the summer.

Plasticraft recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, said Ingram, who owns 51 percent of the private firm. Nine investors share in minority ownership.

Albertville has 55 injection presses and 150 employees and will not curtail production when Durant comes on stream, said Ingram. Plasticraft has annual sales of about $10 million.

The Iowa Transportation Commission awarded a $290,000 grant to the city of Durant for street and railroad improvements related to Plasticraft's project.

Ingram said the Durant plant will start with about 25 employees and he plans to double employment within a year.

Larry Duvall, Plasticraft's director of special projects and former plant manager at Albertville, will become Durant's plant manager.