Housewares molder Esseplast USA Inc. is beefing up its presence with a new injection molding operation in Charlotte, N.C. Its machinery investment will be about $1 million.
The company will add three injection presses in the first quarter of 2005, according to an Esseplast marketing associate. The plant has one shift now, and will add a second next year, she said.
The U.S. operating arm of Esseplast SpA based in Romano d'Ezzelino, Italy, relocated to Charlotte in the late 1990s, said Justin Hunt, vice president of international development with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Esseplast handled sales, marketing and distribution from a 64,000-square-foot site in Charlotte that was fed from molding operations in Italy.
``This [adding injection molding] was in the longer-term plan,'' Hunt said by telephone Nov. 5.
Its new, 110,000-square-foot plant will dedicate 20,000 square feet to production, according to a company news release. The addition will increase packaging and assembly operations, and will boost warehouse space nearly 2½ times. The site was custom-built to accommodate Esseplast, he said.
Esseplast initially moved to North America to have more control over its shipments to Target Stores Inc., according to the Esseplast news release. The firm produces the Michael Graves cleaning line. More recently, Esseplast has been growing to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Linens 'n Things, Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma.
The firm now has over 200 employees with two manufacturing plants in Italy.