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

Minnesota Rubber & Plastics has new leader, new focus

September 2, 2014 12:18 pm ET

With new leadership, Minnesota Rubber & Plastics is setting the foundation for long-term success.    More

Image

Baxter investing $300 million to expand dialyzers production in Alabama

August 29, 2014 12:53 pm ET

Baxter International, Inc. is expanding its Opelika, Ala. manufacturing location to boost production of dialyzers, a key component of hemodialysis...    More

Image

Obituary: Jerry Williams, Prism Plastics co-owner

August 29, 2014 8:50 am ET

Williams founded Prism Plastics with Rod Bricker and Gerry Phillips, after the three left Huron Plastics Group in 1999.    More

Polish injection molder Teknorubber up for sale

August 29, 2014 9:14 am ET

Polish plastic parts maker Teknorubber has been put up for sale following its insolvency filing in March 2014. The company is to be auctioned through ...    More

Image

Concours adding equipment as mold making business booms in Mexico

August 28, 2014 2:05 pm ET

Concours Mold Inc. is heading for a 50 percent increase in sales in Mexico this year after a $4 million upgrade of its plant in Huejotzingo, in the st...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events