Thermoformed Products Inc., a custom thermoformer in Muskegon, Mich., is expanding into sheet extrusion, investing $2.5 million in a new facility and equipment. Charles Rose, plant manager for the extrusion facility, said the 20,000-square-foot plant initially will house one Welex extruder capable of making high density polyethylene sheet.
The new line is capable of making sheet between six-hundredths and one-half-inch thick by up to 91/2 inches wide.
The extrusion plant will serve TPI's production needs, but the company plans to sell sheet to other thermoformers as well. Additional equipment will be added as demand dictates, and other materials such as ABS will be added to accommodate customer requirements. Rose said the extrusion plant is scheduled to open Jan. 1.
The decision to enter the sheet extrusion business came as a result of the high volumes used by TPI and sister company KL Industries, plus the need to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, Rose said.
TPI operates alongside KL Industries in a 180,000-square-foot facility. TPI makes truck bed liners and large-tonnage auto-motive pallets. The company also makes parts for portable toilets and bodies for all-terrain vehicles.
KL Industries manufactures a proprietary line of paddle boats, 12-foot bass boats and ice-fishing shelters, all made of HDPE.
Together, the two companies employ 100.