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

Louisiana molder expands into former Yoo-hoo bottling plant

October 31, 2014 1:51 pm ET

Noble Plastics Inc. plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities with the purchase of a former Yoo-hoo bottling plant in Opelousas, La., eight...    More

Image

Arburg inks training pact with Taiwan's Ming Chi University

October 31, 2014 2:24 pm ET

German injection molding press maker Arburg GmbH + Co. KG announced this week that it has inked a cooperative deal with Taiwan's Ming Chi University...    More

Image

Hong Kong injection molding equipment maker enters US market

October 31, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Hong Kong-based L.K. Technology Holdings Ltd. is entering the North American plastics processing market with a line of its eXcel injection molding...    More

Image

Finalists named for 2014 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards

October 30, 2014 11:00 am ET

The Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division has selected finalists for its 2014 Automotive Innovation Awards competition. Category winners...    More

Auto supplier receiving grant to help expansion

October 30, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Summit Polymers is receiving an $800,000 performance based grant to help with a $7.3 million expansion of three of its Michigan facilities.    More

Market Reports

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 million dollar 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

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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