Hoffer Plastics Corp. is investing about $5 million in a three-phase program to upgrade and improve efficiency at its South Elgin, Ill., headquarters plant.
The custom injection molder is converting a 50,000-square-foot former warehouse to a new manufacturing area. By August, the company will install 12 injection presses, in sizes ranging from 85-170 tons, and start up a new toolroom to service the presses.
Manufacturing manager Fred Engers said seven of the presses will be new Van Dorn Demags, to replace seven machines that Hoffer will sell. The other five presses will be relocated from an existing, 8,000-square-foot molding area that Hoffer will convert to expanded sales and engineering offices by the first quarter of 1999.
Engers said the new manufacturing area will be large enough to accommodate more presses and another toolroom for expansion at an undetermined date.
Hoffer completed the first expansion phase in December when it opened a new, 72,000-square-foot warehouse for raw materials and packaging. The new warehouse allowed the firm to convert its former one to the new manufacturing area.
Engers said Hoffer is boosting its customer service programs and needs the former molding area to add more inside and outside sales services and computer-assisted design and engineering equipment.
All the activity is occurring at Hoffer's main plant, where it runs 101 injection molding machines with clamping forces of as much as 500 tons.
Hoffer has occupied the site since about 1960, when it moved its headquarters from its original, smaller facility about a mile away in South Elgin. The firm, established in 1953, employs 715.
Hoffer reported sales of $79.9 million last year, down slightly from $80.2 million the previous year. Engers said major markets include automotive, closures, telecommunications equipment, small engines and lawn sprinklers.
Its two plants house 121 injection presses. Last year, it processed about 24 million pounds of polyethylene, styrenics, PVC, nylon and acetal.