In a $4 million project, Schmalbach-Lubeca Plastic Containers USA Inc. bought 11 acres in Erie, Pa., to build a 57,000-square-foot tooling plant, more than double the size of its current Erie plant.
The firm now leases a 25,000-square-foot plant in Erie from Carlisle Engineered Products, which bought the building from the former Johnson Controls Inc. Plastic Container Division. Schmalbach-Lubeca AG of Ratingen, Germany, bought the former JCI Plastic Container Division last year.
The new facility will make tooling for preforms, supplying the company's needs globally. The firm plans to add 20 employees to the current local staff of 72. Schmalbach-Lubeca also plans to add manufacturing equipment, such as a Husky 600-ton injection press for mold tryouts.
Schmalbach-Lubeca won $3.6 million in tax-exempt bond financing from the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority board.
The bond proceeds also will be used to finance closing costs and other costs related to the expansion project.
``We decided to stay in Erie because of the location to resources and the available talent,'' said William Miller, plant manager. ``We also plan to bring in secondary operations.''
The company will be in the new facility by mid-July.
Schmalbach-Lubeca Plastic Containers USA Inc. is based in Manchester, Mich., and placed second in Plastics News' survey of North American blow molders, with related estimated sales of $695.1 million.
The company operates 16 plants in North America and employs about 2,500.