Injection molder Laich Industries Corp. is consolidating six of its plants into a massive 400,000-square-foot, $13 million plant in Brook Park, Ohio.
``The main reason for this project is to make us more efficient and more competitive,'' said owner Walter Laich, who founded the firm in 1965.
Laich Industries makes plastic housewares such as resin furniture, dishpans and sink sets, as well as a line of sports novelty items. Its housewares are marketed under the Transco and American Value trade names, while its sports items are marketed as Sports Products. Most of the firm's products are made from polyethylene, polypropylene and other commodity resins.
The new Brook Park site opened in mid-January, after Laich consolidated five Cleveland-area plants as well as a plant in Phoenix. The Phoenix site was only 7 years old but had been impacted by lower-priced competition from Asia, Walter Laich said March 12 by telephone.
The new site operates 16 injection molding machines, with another six set to arrive shortly from Phoenix. When office functions are moved from Cleveland to Brook Park, Laich will have 130 employees at the new location. No Cleveland-area jobs were lost in the move. The firm also operates a 95-employee plant in Ottawa, Kan.
The Brook Park building is designed to accommodate as many as 26 injection presses. Laich said the firm may add one or two more machines there by the end of the year. Laich owns a total of 34 acres at the site, which has nearby access to Interstate 480.
``I've owned the land [in Brook Park] since 1989, but there was always something else coming along that took our attention, so this project was always on the back burner,'' Laich said.
Laich declined to release sales figures for the privately held firm. In a news release, he said the firm remains committed to manufacturing in the United States, and will gain production capacity and warehouse space from the move.