Windsor, Ontario-based Quality Model Group will open a plant in South Carolina that positions it near a major customer that uses QMG's injection molded fuel tanks for lawn mowers.
QMG is investing $6 million to open a 40,000-square-foot plant in Orangeburg, S.C., and add injection molding and proprietary welding equipment to make polyethylene gasoline housings.
The facility, which will start with 15 workers, recently broke ground and should be fully functional by early summer, said Hal Johnson, executive director of the Orangeburg County Development Commission, a quasi-public agency based in Orangeburg.
QMG, a custom injection molder and thermoformer, is working closely with Electrolux North America Inc. and its nearby Orangeburg manufacturing plant, Johnson said. Cleveland-based Electrolux is a contract manufacturer of lawn mowers sold under various other brand names, he added.
``Electrolux makes about a third of the world's riding lawn mowers,'' Johnson said. ``Quality Model determined that there was a cost issue in shipping [fuel tanks] from Canada and needed to be in closer proximity to Electrolux.''
QMG, under its Quality Model Plastics unit, molds parts for the lawn and garden market and also makes a variety of industrial and automotive aftermarket components. The company is more than 30 years old, starting as a prototype maker and mold builder before shifting in 1995 to parts molding.
Company officials, including President Bill Szekesy, could not be reached before deadline Jan. 23. The company also is a major supplier of plastic parts to the marine and recreational vehicle market.
QMG has had its eye on South Carolina for quite some time, Johnson said. The company also has three plants in Windsor and one in Melvindale, Mich. QMG customer in the southeastern United States include the personal watercraft units of both Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Yamaha Motor Corp.
The Windsor company hopes to have more than 35 employees in Orangeburg within two years, Johnson said. The site, in a $19 million industrial park that opened in 1999, also has room to expand. It is located near a major highway halfway between Charleston and Columbia, S.C.