Canadian auto molder moving to a larger plant

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: January 16, 2014 3:10 pm ET
Updated: January 16, 2014 3:15 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding

A Canadian automotive parts injection molder will open a new plant to accommodate growth.

Sle-Co Plastics Inc. bought a facility in St. Thomas, Ontario, for C$2 million (US$1.8 million) and will spend about as much on renovations. The facility was owned by compounder A. Schulman Inc. until Schulman closed it in 2008.

Sle-Co President Jeff Sleegers said his company will soon occupy it for warehousing and assembly but converting the facility's compounding extrusion layout to injection molding will take about a year.

"We're out of space and have new business booked," Sleegers said in a telephone interview from Sle-Co's headquarters in London, Ontario. The St. Thomas facility has 155,000 square feet of space and silos, high ceilings and other infrastructure beneficial to an injection molding plant.

Sle-Co's main molding operation is in London, where it runs about half of its 50 injection presses. A second London facility is primarily a warehouse and assembly operation. In nearby Strathroy, Ontario, Sle-Co produces magnesium vehicle parts. In total, Sle-Co employs about 100. As part of its molding services it also does design and tool building.

Sle-Co plans to keep its current operations running when the St. Thomas expansion is done. Eventually the firm expects to employ about 200 in St. Thomas.

Child safety vehicle seats are one of Sle-Co's growth areas, Sleegers explained. The company molds and assembles the seats for Clek Inc. of Toronto, the seats' designer and marketer. Most of Sle-Co's business is molding and assembly for Tier 1 and 2 vehicle firms in Canada and the United States, but the custom molder also takes on electronics molding and other jobs.

Sleegers said Sle-Co probably will buy more equipment when the St. Thomas renovation is done. It now has an injection press range of up to 1,000 tons but hopes to buy a 3,000 ton press for large-part jobs it currently outsources.

Sle-Co wanted to expand its headquarters plant in London but it could not find a viable way to boost its electrical power access or its water supply for fire protection required in a larger plant. Although Sle-Co had municipal assurances its greater needs could be met, Sle-Co's share of capital costs for the extra infrastructure were too high.

St. Thomas officials in a news release welcomed Sle-Co's plans because the area has been hit hard by plant closures.

Jeff Sleegers and his father Anthony founded Sle-Co in 1988. Sleegers said his company's annual sales are now about C$18 million ($16.5 million), including magnesium parts work.


Comments

Canadian auto molder moving to a larger plant

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: January 16, 2014 3:10 pm ET
Updated: January 16, 2014 3:15 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Toyota says Mirai fuel cell sedan represents a 'new start' for the carmaker

March 2, 2015 11:55 am ET

Toyota Motor Corp.'s most advanced vehicle, a car that runs on hydrogen and emits only water, has had an ironically low-tech birth and has an equally ...    More

Image

German molder picks North Carolina for US manufacturing plant

February 26, 2015 4:21 pm ET

UPDATED — German medical goods company Raumedic AG has chosen Mills River, N.C., for its first U.S. manufacturing site and U.S. headquarters.    More

Image

Plastic Omnium makes China investment push

February 26, 2015 4:35 pm ET

Three of the six new plants that automotive molder Plastic Omnium SA plans this year will be in China, part of a broader push it’s making in...    More

Image

New press at Diamond Line a North American first

February 24, 2015 5:39 pm ET

L.K. Systems Inc. has delivered its first eXcel-brand injection molding machine to a North American customer.    More

Image

Technology helped Cosmetic Specialties solve tool room problems

February 24, 2015 1:10 pm ET

LAKE LAS VEGAS, NEV. — A private equity guy now loves running an injection molding factory.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events