Stepco Corp. plans to spend about $1 million to expand this year as it consolidates operations at its Arlington Heights, Ill., headquarters plant.
The injection molder has bought three new presses and plans to buy a few more reconditioned presses and other machinery this year, according to plant manager Wally Mohammad. By late spring it will install the presses — JSW and Sandretto machines with clamping forces of 85-250 tons — at its original Arlington Heights facility, Mohammad said in a recent telephone interview.
Stepco bought a building next to its original facility and will consolidate warehousing and nonmolding operations there by the end of May.
It will close its Streamwood, Ill., molding plant, which it opened in 1994, and move equipment about 12 miles away to Arlington.
Mohammad estimated that the move will cost about $200,000. Stepco will have 38 injection presses when it takes delivery of the recently ordered machines.
Mohammad said his firm is consolidating to become more efficient, reduce overhead and simplify production.
It now operates in five separate facilities in Illinois — two for molding, one for a tool shop and one each for warehousing and finished goods.
Mohammad said having all operations in one location also will make it easier for Stepco to show its operations to customers.
Stepco's custom injection molding sales grew about 9 percent last year to $24 million. Its main markets are small appliances such as smoke detectors, consumer goods, electronics and telecommunications.
Mohammad said the company has been running three shifts for seven days a week since fall.
The firm, established in 1953, is owned by President Robert Wille and Chief Executive Officer John Wyle. It offers secondary services such as prototyping, decorating and assembly.