LEOMINSTER, MASS. — Leaktite Corp. is putting the finishing touches on a $4.7 million expansion project, adding a 31,000-square-foot facility and five new Engel North America presses. The company manufactures paint-related items, mostly plastic containers and trays. The containers range in size from one quart to five gallons, while the trays are primarily for paint rollers.
"The economy is very strong for us," said President Rodney G. Sparrow. "We find strength as long as home values are up," noting that do-it-yourself painters are the primary end market for the company's products.
Leaktite received a $4.7 million tax-exempt bond from the commonwealth of Massachusetts and started work on the Leominster building in August.
Machinery already is humming in the new building, but it officially will open in May. At the same time, Leaktite was updating its equipment with the purchase of five Engel North America presses. Four have 750 tons of clamping force, while the fifth has 400 tons.
"This is to supplement our manufacturing. It will double our capacity," Sparrow said.
Leaktite already had a facility on the same 11-acre site in Leominster. The company does injection molding, thermoforming and cut stamping.
Sparrow said employment should rise to 100, from the current 62, by the end of the year.
"This is definitely necessary to continue the growth of the company, which has been fast-paced the last three to five years," he said. "We've had double-digit growth [each year], and we could not keep it up if we did not continue looking to maintain our No. 1 status [in the paint-container business]," Sparrow said.
Leaktite started making metal paint cans around 1945, according to Sparrow. The company was first known as Baystate Janitorial Supply when it was based in Watertown, Mass. It was purchased by his father, Richard Sparrow, in 1965 and moved to Leominster in 1984.
Sherwin-Williams Co. has been a steady customer. Leaktite also supplies large home-improvement retailers such as Home Depot Inc.
Sparrow declined to share sales figures, but noted that the company's next step would be to expand to the West Coast.