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Green Leaf bringing molding back to Indiana from China

By: Michael Lauzon

June 9, 2014

An injection molder specializing in liquid handling products is bringing most of its production back to the United States from China.

Green Leaf Inc. is reshoring about 70 proprietary products like valves and fittings to its Fontanet, Ind., operation, President Pete Goda said in a telephone interview.

“The United States and Indiana are competitive locations for manufacturers, especially injection molders,” Goda said. “Labor and operating costs are going up in China.”

Goda estimates his firm will realize savings of 25 to 35 percent by doing its molding in house. It also will better control product quality and cut lead times vs. shipping from China.

Green Leaf began using Chinese molding services in the early 2000s.

“We set up there because it made sense then,” Goda recalled.

Green Leaf has begun moving production back to Indiana and expects to complete the program in the first quarter of 2015, at which time nearly 90 percent of its production will be made by the company in Fontanet. The generous schedule for moving production back is due to long lead times for the numerous molds Green Leaf will have built by local tool shops. Green Leaf does not own the tooling being run in China.

Goda said his company will keep some production in China, mainly low-volume goods not subject to rush shipments.

Green Leaf will have more control of one of its leading items, its Gator Lock cam level coupling, a product line that Green Leaf is expanding by adding more sizes. Gator Lock features a locking mechanism with interchanging abilities that are unique in the marketplace, claims Green Leaf. The coupling reduces potential loss of chemicals, a boon to environmental protection and the expense of replacing spilled chemicals.

By producing goods in house, Green Leaf will improve speed and accuracy of its proprietary components, “and will allow us to pass the benefits of competitive pricing and distribution controls on to our customers.”

Green Leaf was founded by Pete Goda’s father, Mike Goda, in 1979. It focused on agricultural markets but has branched into a range of markets needing precise liquid handling control. Tank components, wick applicators, spray nozzles and boom components are among its professional quality products.

Green Leaf molds parts in house and sources metal components from outside suppliers for assembly in Fontanet. It mainly molds polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene resins but it also does some custom industrial molding that can require a broader slate of thermoplastics. Its capabilities include robots, insert molding, machining, milling and design.

Goda predicts Green Leaf will reach $14 million in sales this year. It employs 80 in several buildings in its campus with total area of more than 100,000 square feet.

Goda said the family-owned firm celebrated its 35th anniversary with the installation of a new website.