Ferriot Inc. plans to build a bigger facility in Akron, Ohio, to accommodate its growth in molding, mold building and prototyping.
Ferriot will invest about $6 million in the building and a similar amount in new equipment during the next several years. It expects to occupy the new building by the summer of 1999, President Gordon Keeler said by telephone.
Keeler said his firm looked at several potential sites, including in the South, but decided to stay in Akron to retain the experience of its 240 employees in prototyping, engineering, molding and finishing. The United Steelworkers union represents its hourly workers. Keeler said his firm could add as many as 100 more employees.
Keeler said Ferriot outgrew its 100,000-square-foot plant despite seven expansions. Its new building will be 150,000-175,000 square feet with the ability to double in size. The firm will spend about $375,000 to acquire 15 acres. Ferriot might lease out its existing facility.
Ferriot injection molds for business machines and a range of other markets, and counts Xerox Corp., Hewlett-Packard Corp. and IBM as major accounts. About a third of Ferriot's $20 million in annual sales is in mold building and prototyping for complex parts, such as Mattel Inc.'s Barbie Dolls, Keeler estimated. Ferriot runs 19 injection presses with clamping forces of 40-1,000 tons.
Keeler did not disclose future equipment purchases, but he said they would involve all aspects of the company, from prototyping to molding. Its molding capabilities embrace structural foam, gas-assist and gas counter-pressure. It also has several painting lines, including a robotic line and a two-color line. Local tax incentives for the expansion include $200,000 in abatements for machinery and inventory.