Pompano Beach, Fla., film and bag producer Essex Plastics Inc. plans to almost triple the size of its 45,000-square-foot facility in Nashville, Tenn.
Construction on the 85,000-square-foot expansion began March 15, and is to be completed by the end of this year.
The $15 million expansion will allow Essex to add 30 million pounds of annual production capacity; it currently produces more than 100 million pounds per year at its Nashville and Pompano Beach facilities. The Nashville facility now operates seven of the firm's 37 extrusion lines.
Essex will purchase six lines for the Nashville facility in the first stage of the expansion, with the lines scheduled to begin operating by the first quarter of 2000. The addition of 85,000 square feet is designed to add 105 million pounds of capacity in the next five years.
The company, which employs 400, plans to hire additional administrative employees before the expansion is complete, and manufacturing employees after the completion.
President Aubrey Strul said in a news release that Essex is expanding because of steady sales growth during the past 13 years and anticipated new business within the next six months. Essex has experienced 12 percent compounded annual growth during the past five years, primarily from existing customers, and new business with national accounts.
The company is finishing a $1.5 million upgrade of its computer hardware, software and telecommunications systems, and plans to expand its 120,000-square-foot Pompano Beach facility, possibly in the next two years.
Essex produces linear low density polyethylene, high-molecular-weight high density PE and multilayer PE film and bags for converters and various markets, including agriculture, pharmaceutical, automotive, and food and beverage. It also manufactures HDPE and LLDPE can liners for the contract cleaning, food-service, health-care, waste management and janitorial industries.
Essex said it expects to receive ISO 9001 registration by this time next year.