PLAINFIELD BUILDING NEW PLANT

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Plainfield Molding Inc., an injection molding and metal stamping company, hopes to have a new, 90,000-square-foot building for its molding operations by the end of the year.

The Illinois firm, which specializes in close-tolerance, insert molded parts for the automotive and other industries, grew out of its current molding plant and warehouse locations, said Ed Schofield, vice president of manufacturing.

``It's just not built for molding,'' Schofield said of the current facility, which is located in Will County near Plainfield, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago.

The new building, in Plainfield, will house all of the firm's molding operations and associated storage. Separate facilities in Plainfield and El Paso, Texas, will be maintained for stamping operations.

Total company sales are about $40 million a year, Schofield said. He would not break out the molding business.

Although Plainfield does not plan to buy any new presses for the move, it will add new auxiliary equipment to help upgrade operations, he said. The new plant will allow for a more-efficient setup of molding equipment, he said.

Plainfield operates 68 injection presses from 15-200 tons, the majority of which are Arburgs, he said. The company molds all types of engineering resins.

Its stamping operations make the metal parts used for insert molding, but Plainfield also sells inserts to other molders.

``We're almost in competition with ourselves,'' Schofield said.

Will County has promised a three-year, 50 percent tax abatement for the new plant. Plainfield, with 220 injection molding employees, could add as many as 41 new jobs at that site in the next three to five years.

The company employs another 150 in stamping and at corporate locations.