Come June, Seitz Corp. will be pumping out injection molded parts at a 40,000-square-foot plant in Rockford, Ill. Seitz, based in Torrington, Conn., will manufacture heating, ventilation and air conditioning units for Bergstrom Inc., a Rockford-based supplier of climate systems for trucks, buses and off-highway equipment.
Initially, four Van Dorn Demag presses and 20 workers will produce the HVAC systems for Class 6, 7 and 8 trucks and buses, according to the Rockford plant's general manager, Larry Piet.
The plant also will supply other customers and products, including a new under-the-hood plastic part for climate control. By year's end 1997, Seitz expects to have 12 Van Dorn Demags, from 100-770 tons, and roughly 35 workers at the leased facility, he said in a telephone interview April 16.
Piet said the new business will boost Seitz's $26 million in sales significantly.
``We're not making this kind of investment casually,'' he noted.
Although Piet would not say how much the firm will spend to start up manufacturing in Rockford, incentives from the state of Illinois, including tax credits, training funds and a reduced five-year electric rate, made the deal sweeter.
When the plant opens June 1, it will be highly automated, with closed-loop processing, quick-change tooling and robotics, according to Piet.
``This plant is not going to be your typical molding plant,'' he said. ``We're talking about mold changes in 2-41/2 minutes ... [using] molds from 12,000-14,000 pounds,'' he said.
The Rockford plant will work with polypropylene, glass-filled PP, nylon 6/6 and ABS, and offer part design, mold building and some assembly - since a line of trucks can require 15-25 parts, one-third of which need to be assembled, Piet said.
Seitz has been making smaller subassemblies for Bergstrom for a number of years, according to Sharon LeGault, Seitz's marketing manager.
But the freight costs for larger parts like the HVAC systems made the company decide to locate in Rockford.
Seitz has 260 employees and 50 presses at its Torrington plant.