CHICAGO—Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. announced it is building a 200,000-square-foot plant at its Bolton, Ontario, headquarters to bring in-house manufacturing of machine components and subassemblies.
Currently, local manufacturers make those parts to Husky specifications, and ship them to Bolton. Husky officials say demand for the year-old G-Series injection press is driving the expansion.
In a statement issued June 16, the first day of NPE 1997 in Chicago, Husky said: ``The large increase in machine sales [justifies] the in-house manufacture of a wide variety of components. Although most of the parts will be for machines, there will also be some manufacturing for mold and robot components.''
The new facility also will build some parts for Husky's upcoming small-tonnage line of machines — details of which will be released later this year.
In other news, Husky has decided to proceed with building a manufacturing facility in Milton, Vt. Husky officials first announced that plant in September, but it was contingent on local government and citizen approval.
Husky President Robert Schad made the announcement June 14 in Milton. Husky has upped the amount of its initial investment to $80 million; the original amount was $50 million. Employment in Milton, where the company initially will make hot-runner systems, is expected to be a few hundred people at first. But more products, and employees, probably will be added over the next decade, Schad has said.
Schad's visit to Vermont to deliver the news follows a citizen vote in Milton earlier this month in favor of Husky. According to published reports, Milton residents overwhelmingly supported a 10-year tax stabilization plan agreement for the Husky complex. Voter approval reportedly was the final requirement set by Husky before the company officially could decide to build on its 700-acre site there. Production should begin in Milton next June.
The company said the 200,000-square-foot Bolton building was driven by demand for its general-purpose G-Series injection press, introduced one year ago.
Husky, known for machines to mold PET bottle preforms and thin-wall packaging, introduced the G-Series to capture more business from custom molders.
In the first year, Husky has sold about 200 G-Series machines, according to Michael Urquhart, vice president of sales and service for the Americas. He said Husky is targeting the high-end, general-purpose market for applications in which speed, repeatability and reliability are important.
``We're certainly expanding more into custom molding markets. Most of these are not traditional Husky markets,'' Urquhart said.
New markets include automotive and medical, and machines for closures and technical parts.
``We've done a lot of closure molds, but we didn't sell a lot of machines to that market,'' Urquhart said. ``Now we've got a machine that's well-priced for that market.''
G-Series machines come with clamping forces of 180-825 tons.
Husky had 1996 sales of $568.2 million. The company is in a hiring mode, given all the expansion.
``We currently have more than 200 positions to be filled, 120 of which are engineering-related,'' Urquhart said.