FORT MITCHELL, KY.-Ex-Tech Plastics Inc. is wrapping up construction on a 76,000-square-foot plant in Richmond, Ill., and will add two new sheet extrusion lines there by year's end. The firm confirmed the expansion at this year's Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division Conference, held Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Fort Mitchell, where it was one of 78 exhibitors.
The plant is being financed by a $3.2 million tax-free industrial revenue bond and will double Ex-Tech's space for manufacturing and corporate offices, now located at another Richmond site, said President Bill Field. The building and equipment will cost the firm close to $5 million, Field said by telephone after the conference.
Ex-Tech plans to keep its current 37,000-square-foot facility for some secondary operations and warehousing, and will eliminate 40-some truck trailers it now uses for storage there and a leased, 6,000-square-foot space across the street that now houses offices, Field said. The firm first will install the two new sheet lines at the new plant, then move five existing lines, one at a time, beginning in December, a process that should take five or six weeks.
Ex-Tech makes both calendered and extruded 100 percent recycled PVC sheet, including static-dissipative and anti-static thermoformable sheet, which it makes through a joint venture with Mustang Enterprises Inc. in Geneva, Ill. Custom thermoformers making clamshells and blister packs represent Ex-Tech's big-gest market for its recycled thin-gauge sheet, but it also sells to original equipment manufacturers with in-house thermoforming and graphic arts firms, Field said.
``We've been growing pretty much at a 20-25 percent growth rate,'' he said.
Last year's sheet sales were about $9.5 million.
The MRC-11 anti-static sheet has boosted Ex-Tech's sales since being added to its product offerings last fall, booking the firm's five-line capacity and pushing it to expand, Field said. The sheet, which was designed for electronics packaging, retains good surface and volume-resistivity properties after thermoforming, he said. The firm chose not to expand its current plant because of engineering problems associated with building on the wetlands that are part of that site, Field said. The new facility, which now has room for eight lines, can be expanded to 120,000 square feet. When the expansion is completed, the firm will add 10-15 people to its work force of 90, Field said.