By: Chris Sweeney
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS
February 6, 2014
The HF Mixing Group has opened a $2.5 million assembly hall at its facility in Topeka, Kan., that will aid in the restructuring of its various sites.
The addition—opened Jan. 1—increases the size of the facility by 18,000 square feet. The hall features a 60-ton crane service and three 10-ton cranes for small parts. It also added nine jobs—four in assembly, two in customer service, two in engineering and one in purchasing.
"We look forward to servicing the rest of the global HF Mixing Group," said Paul White, site director at Topeka. "What makes this site go is the people who work for this company. We've put together a really enthusiastic group of professionals, skilled labor and skilled machinists."
Topeka's expansion coincides with the HF Mixing Group's decision to restructure its business and consolidate production at its various world sites.
In the U.S., its batch mixing machinery business is being moved from Farrel Corp.'s Ansonia, Conn., plant to Topeka. The Ansonia site will focus its resources on its continuous mixing business. Parent firm Harburg-Freudenberger Maschinenbau GmbH acquired Farrel in 2009.
Topeka went on line taking orders for its batch machinery business as of Sept. 1.
"The HF Mixing Group has several entities worldwide, and what we've tried to do is strategically place core businesses at certain sites," White said. "We had two facilities that basically did the same thing, service and rebuild batch mixers. It made sense to consolidate our efforts in batch mixing."
No jobs were cut or relocated in conjunction with this transition because for every division a plant lost, it gained another.
In addition to the U.S. production shift, Farrel's Rochdale, England, plant will focus on tangential mixing; Pomini's Castellanza, Italy, factory will be centered on convex mixers; and HF's site in Freudenberg, Germany, will concentrate on intermeshing mixers.