Creative Foam Corp. is building a 112,000-square-foot facility in Fenton, Mich., to house its Specialty Products and Packaging Division. The Fenton-based firm converts cellular foam plastic and rubber into parts and packaging for the automotive, medical and materials-handling industries, relying heavily on sales to automakers and their first-tier suppliers.
The company expects to spend between $4 million and $6 million on the SPPD plant and new equipment, such as stamping presses for die cutting, water-jet cutting and more forming machines, said David Duthie, president and chief executive. Groundbreaking ceremonies were to take place Aug. 26.
SPPD, which already employs about 100, will add 45 workers in the next three to five years, as business grows, Duthie said in a recent telephone interview. During that five-year time frame, Creative predicts corporate growth of 10 percent per year.
At SPPD the core businesses are protective packaging and materials-handling, mainly for the Big Three and their first-tier suppliers. The division also owns some proprietary equipment for specialty auto applications, a growing segment; but most of Creative's auto parts are produced by its Auto Components Team, with plants in Fenton and Dowagiac, Mich. Besides foam parts, ACT also fabricates corrugated plastics and operates three vacuum formers at Dowagiac.
In Bremen, Ind., a third division makes dipped and coated products for medical equipment and for pools and spas.
Creative's capabilities include combining various foams with other plastic materials through assembly, radio frequency welding and adhesives. One application uses urethane foam, film and a barrier to fabricate car door insulation, Duthie said. Other foam auto parts include gaskets and seals, soft trim, compact disc bins and drink-cup holders.
SPPD will transfer production to its new plant by year's end, retaining its current 68,000-square-foot facility for warehousing. The unit recently received both ISO 9001 and QS 9000 certification.
Automotive makes up 85 percent of Creative's total sales, which Duthie would not disclose. This is the 26-year-old firm's second major expansion in two years; in 1994 it added 40,000 square feet to its ACT plant in Fenton.
Creative employs about 500.