A new custom structural foam molder in Ohio aims to begin production in June.
Five major stockholders and several other people have invested in 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics Ltd. An initial budget of $6.7 million covers land, construction and equipment.
"We saw an opportunity in the custom molding marketplace," President Ron Ernsberger said in a telephone interview. "There are not a lot of custom structural foam molders today."
Industry veteran Ernsberger said the absence of proprietary products will distinguish 20/20 from many structural foam molders.
20/20 was created in mid-2000 and acquired a 36-acre bean field in Holiday City near Bryan, Ohio, in late summer. Ground was broken in October, but winter weather slowed construction.
"We are probably 70 percent completed," he said April 9.
A rail siding that should be operating by midsummer will complete the project.
20/20 will operate two new 500-ton Uniloy Milacron structural foam machines capable of shot sizes of 150 pounds for polystyrene and smaller amounts for polyethylene.
In addition, the firm purchased two used, 375-ton, wide-platen Milacron injection molding presses and had Milacron Inc. remanufacture the equipment. The machines have shot capacities of 165 ounces.
Penrod & George of Napolean, Ohio, is supplying custom manufacturing software that will monitor the material in each shot and deliver the data to a computer. A similar system for injection molding was deemed too complex. For now, 20/20 will have exclusive use of the program, but Penrod & George aims to market the software eventually.
20/20 will start with 32 workers on four crews for seven-day, 24-hour operation. The company plans to have 62 employees within three years.
Target markets include dunnage units, pallets, bins, boxes, in-ground enclosures, point-of-purchase shelving and recreational equipment.
State and county economic development programs provided $447,500 for local infrastructure improvements. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 60 percent, 10-year tax credit contingent on creating 62 jobs and maintaining operations for 20 years.