Baxter Enterprises, a custom injection molder in Winchester, Tenn., has invested $15 million to build a 205,000-square-foot addition for a warehouse and a paint line and buy three large-tonnage injection molding machines to make parts for large-screen Toshiba televisions.
The biggest of the presses, a 3,500-ton Husky Quadloc, is producing backs for 62-inch Toshiba televisions. Each of the TV backs weighs about 22 pounds, molded from high-impact polystyrene. Baxter President Siegfried Schulte said the company began molding the parts in July for Toshiba America Consumer Products' assembly plant in Lebanon, Tenn.
The two other new machines, both from Milacron Inc., have clamping forces of 1,500 tons and 2,750 tons, Schulte said.
The 3,500-ton Husky is the largest of Baxter Enterprises' 18 machines. The company has open capacity to make other parts.
The new paint line, which occupies 60,000 square-feet of the addition, will handle TV components, electronics and automotive parts (excluding bumper fascias).
Schulte said Baxter Enterprises is actively seeking other markets, including appliances, for its molding and painting capability.
The Schulte family, which owns the company, has expanded the Winchester site several times in the last seven years. The family started a mold-making firm, Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering Inc., in Rochester Hills, Mich., in 1982. In 1997, the company created a Tennessee division.
The Winchester facility was originally 125,000 square feet and included three Husky presses for low-volume production and mold tryouts. The big new Quadloc is the company's seventh Husky press.
In 1999, the company added a 75,000-square-foot expansion. That same year the company divided in two, with Hi-Tech Mold and Engineering Southeast on the mold-making side, and Baxter Enterprises to handle molding.
In addition to the TV work, Baxter Enterprises molds automotive interior parts. Baxter employs 250 and generates annual sales of about $30 million.
With the expansion for the warehouse and paint line, Baxter Enterprises and Hi-Tech Mold and Engineering occupy more than 400,000 square feet in Winchester.
The two companies employ about 315 in Winchester.