Rotational molder Elkhart Plastics expanding

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 28, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Rotomolding

SOUTH BEND, IND. (Nov. 28, 3:55 p.m. ET) — Custom rotational molder Elkhart Plastics Inc. is adding a 25,000-square-foot expansion and plans to add 50 new jobs over the next three years at its headquarters in South Bend.

CEO Jack Welter said the company initially plans to hire about 20 people, and buy two rotomolding machines, for the addition. That will bring Elkhart Plastics’ total square footage to more than 100,000 in South Bend. Site preparation has already begun, and the expansion should be completed by end of the first quarter of 2013.

Welter said the company is spending $1.75 million for the building, two machines and to hire the 20 employees. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. reports the total investment at $3.8 million, but Welter said that figure includes additional machines and another 30 workers, which will be added over the next three years.

Welter said part of the expansion is to handle a large contract for emissions systems for diesel-powered heavy equipment, such as tractors, construction equipment, and semi trucks. The focus on reducing emissions has led to an increased for rotomolded components, he said. He declined to give more details.

Meanwhile, company officials have brought back the well-known Elkhart Plastics name for the entire company, scrapping the former moniker of Indiana Rotomolding. In early 2011, Welter and a group of fellow managers bought five custom rotomolding plants from Olympus Partners, a private equity firm. The plants were Elkhart Plastics and Bonar Plastics operations.

Welter is an Elkhart Plastics veteran who became president in 1994.

Elkhart Plastics is the eighth-largest rotomolder in North America, with sales of $61.5 million, according to the latest Plastics News ranking. The company runs 41 rotomolding machines at five plants, three in Indiana—South Bend, Elkhart and Middlebury—and one each in Littleton, Colo., and Ridgefield, Wash.

Elkhart Plastics is getting government help for the expansion in South Bend. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will give the company up to $250,000 on conditional tax credits and up to $35,000 in training grants, contingent on job creation.

The city of South Bend also is considering additional property tax abatement, IEDC said.

Welter said the training grants are important to help find and train people in rotomolding. He said finding good workers is “the only limiting factor to our aggressive growth plan.”

Rotational molding is physical work, and the machine operators play an important role in producing quality products, Welter said.

“You can train somebody. It really comes down to finding people who want to put in a good day’s work for a good day’s pay,” he said. “We’re certainly willing to train people who are willing to commit to us.”

Elkhart Plastics employs about 500 at the five plants.

Elkhart Plastics was founded in 1988 with one machine molding parts for Indiana’s recreational vehicle industry. Welter said the Hoosier State has good proximity to customers.

“We place a great deal of value in our relationship with the city of South Bend and the state of Indiana and appreciate the effort that went into allowing us to expand,” he said.


Comments

Rotational molder Elkhart Plastics expanding

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 28, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Canada's Papp Plastics is eyeing big opportunities with JV in Mexico

November 24, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Canadian injection molder and turnkey solution provider Papp Plastics & Distributing Ltd. will open an $11 million to $12 million joint venture...    More

Image

Indiana injection molder PRD expands

November 24, 2014 1:56 pm ET

Automotive supplier PRD Inc. is expanding its manufacturing facility in Springville, Ind.    More

Image

Can plastics return to the driver's seat?

November 24, 2014 6:00 am ET

When the June 1989 issue of Popular Science introduced three cutting-edge automotive technologies, including the latest Corvette and a powerful...    More

Image

New GM purchasing chief faces big hurdles to improve supplier relations

November 24, 2014 11:11 am ET

Steve Kiefer is moving into the eternal hot seat that is head of GM global purchasing and supply chain.    More

Image

Wilbur Ross steps down from IAC board

November 24, 2014 11:38 am ET

Financier Wilbur Ross Jr. has resigned from the boards of International Automotive Components Group SA and its subsidiaries due to new regulatory rest...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events