Custom injection molder Pioneer Plastics Inc. is adding 40,000 square feet to its Dixon, Ky., plant to accommodate its growing appliance-part business.
``That business had really outgrown our existing space,'' sales and engineering director Dan Arvin said in a recent telephone interview. ``We had to grow to regain some efficiencies.''
The $2 million expansion is to be complete this month, bringing Pioneer's total square footage to 100,000. The firm's appliance business is focused on producing replacement parts for discontinued appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers.
The firm has acquired almost 3,000 molds from appliance makers such as General Electric, Whirlpool and Electrolux. Last year, Pioneer started making replacement parts for discontinued copiers made by Xerox Corp., as well as doing some molding for current Xerox models.
Some of the appliances that Pioneer makes replacement parts for are 15-20 years old, Arvin said. ``A lot of appliance makers don't want to run 100-part orders anymore,'' he said. ``That's where we come in.''
Most of the replacement parts are made of polycarbonate, polystyrene or ABS. Since refrigerators have the most parts, they make up the highest volume of Pioneer's replacement business.
The expansion eventually will create new jobs at Pioneer, which employs about 85 and is 45 miles south of Evansville, Ind. The 39-year-old firm - which has been owned by Ed Knapp since 1986 - added its 20th injection press last year.
Pioneer's packaging unit makes a 100-piece line of boxes and lids of clear PS. The firm's custom unit molds kitchen tools for pizza makers and other restaurants, as well as industrial casters and retail displays for the tobacco market.
The company's three units posted total sales of $9 million last year after bringing in $8 million in 2002. Arvin said the firm has set a sales target of 15 percent average annual growth.