HI-TECH MOLD BUILDING TENNESSEE PLANT

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ROCHESTER HILLS, MICH. — A family-owned Michigan mold maker has set its sights south by planning to open a new plant in Winchester, Tenn.

Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering Inc., based in Rochester Hills, has purchased 30 acres of property in Winchester to build a 125,000-square-foot mold-making plant. The facility is scheduled to begin production by the end of 1997 and employ at least 110.

``It seems that all roads meet in that part of the country,'' said Hi-Tech vice president Robert Schulte. ``There are a lot of people positioning in the area, including carmakers and suppliers.''

Hi-Tech operates a single plant at its Michigan location to manufacture injection, compression and blow molds for automotive and other applications. The new plant will perform the same work, which includes tooling, rapid prototyping and engineering services for such products as bumper fascias, interior trim, pillars and exterior door panels.

The number of electric discharge machines, computer numerically controlled milling machines, spotting presses and other equipment for the new plant has not been decided, Schulte said. The company will have the capability to work on tooling as large as 120 tons, making it one of the largest toolmakers in the area, Schulte said. The cost of the expansion has not yet been determined, he added.