TEMECULA, CALIF. — Grizzle & Hunter Plastic LLC recently added 8,000 square feet to its Temecula operations for the assembly and warehousing of proprietary Bear sprinkler products.
The firm already operated a 16,000-square-foot plant with 11 injection molding presses. About 60 percent of its production is custom thermoplastic parts, and 40 percent goes for the Bear line.
``We want to reverse that ratio'' because the firm can boost proprietary output without adding equipment, President Glendale Grizzle said during a plant visit.
Grizzle & Hunter was formed in 1993, focusing on custom molding PVC products. But the founders' experience in the irrigation business led to product development. In 1995, it introduced the Bear aftermarket irrigation line as replacement gear for Toro Co. and Rain Bird Sprinkler Manufacturing Corp. golf course sprinkler systems. Litigation ensued. Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro filed a federal suit in 1995 alleging that Grizzle and Grizzle & Hunter used Toro trade secrets and proprietary information in the Bear line. A Feb. 4 settlement allows Grizzle & Hunter to continue its manufacturing program.
Grizzle had been director of plastics technology for Toro's irrigation division and head of the unit's molding plant in Riverside, Calif. His wife, Junelle, was manager of customer administration.
Grizzle & Hunter's presses include eight Van Dorn Demags with clamping forces of 35-230 tons and three Hunter machines. The firm employs 60.