A unique way of looking at the economy has allowed custom injection molder Evco Plastics to begin operating a new facility this year that more than doubles the size of its previous plant in Oshkosh, Wis.
Admitting its style was ``backwards,'' Evco President Dale Evans said the firm took advantage of the poor economy to construct the $7.5 million, 69,000-square-foot plant.
``When things are going well, we accumulate money and begin paying off debt,'' he said. ``When the economy slows down, we expand. It usually takes time to expand.''
Evco's expansion strategy is that by the time the plant is operational, the economy will have improved, Evans said. During construction, Evco saves money by taking advantage of low interest rates and eager-for-work contractors. During the plant's construction, which began in May and finished in December, Evans estimates Evco saved $1 million during the construction process because ``everyone was so hungry.''
The operation replaced by the new facility was a 29,000-square-foot plant that had been in Oshkosh since 1976.
The new facility can hold as many as 20-24 injection presses. It currently is operating 14 machines and anticipates that a 3,300-ton press will be operational by June.
``We don't expect to fill it up immediately,'' he said. ``Our capacity is driven to when we get work.''
The firm currently employs 60 in Oshkosh and Evans hopes that number will double during the coming year.
Evco, based in DeForest, Wis., reported sales of $55 million last year. It operates six plants in the United States, one in Mexico and one in China.
It injection molds thermoplastics and its processes include structural foam, insert molding, gas-assisted injection and multishot. It has a number of services including part design, prototyping, assembly and clean room molding. It serves a range of markets from the automotive sector to the recreational and sporting goods segment.
The Oshkosh plant's open house is scheduled for June 2.