Custom injection molder Merrick Engineering Inc. plans to relocate operations to larger quarters by late August, increase head count and add two presses. ``We mold more than 175 million hangers per year,'' said Abraham Abdi, president and chief executive officer of the privately held, 23-year-old firm. Merrick will sell two separate buildings with a total of 60,000 square feet and move about a mile to a highly visible 7-acre site. The locations are in Corona, Calif., in Riverside County.
Hunsaker Development of Ir-vine, Calif., is building the 147,000-square-foot plant. Merrick signed a five-year lease with an option to buy the plant for $6 million after the first year.
Merrick molds the hangers and storage shelves on 14 presses with clamping forces of 75-600 tons and markets the products principally through discount retail outlets in North America.
Abdi anticipates adding two 600-ton injection molding presses and hiring 30 people in addition to the current 170 employees. ``Over three years, we may grow to as many as 350,'' Abdi said.
Suppliers will use a railcar track siding for bulk delivery of resin pellets to the new building.
Since January, in an effort to penetrate Midwest and Southern seaboard markets, Merrick has operated a 600-ton press in a leased 24,000-square-foot branch facility in Waco, Texas. The branch employs 20.