Laddawn Inc., a Sterling, Mass.-based maker of polyethylene bags, film and tubes, is extending its manufacturing capabilities to the Midwest by purchasing a 70,000-square-foot building in Manchester, Iowa.
``We have a warehouse in Indianapolis, but no manufacturing. Our manufacturing is in Sterling and in Dallas, so this next step completes the triangle,'' Co-President Ladd Lavallee said in a telephone interview from Sterling.
He said the Manchester building had been used for blown film extrusion, but now is vacant. Laddawn will work on the building this winter, with plans to begin limited production in the summer.
The plant will include a very large line capable of producing film more than 150 inches wide. The site will have a total of four Battenfeld Gloucester blown film lines, he said. It will start with 15 employees, and could add seven within two years.
``Iowa and the town of Manchester have been unbelievable in helping us. They've been off the chart in terms of working with us,'' Lavallee said.
The move should reduce shipping costs for some Midwest customers that currently are served by the Indianapolis warehouse.
The private firm was started in 1976 by Lavallee's parents, Paul and Jacqueline, and continues as a family operation. Ladd and his sister Dawn Seiple are co-presidents, while Paul is chairman.
Laddawn operates 17 lines at its 75,000-square-foot main facility in Sterling. It also has six lines at the 110,000-square-foot Dallas operation. The company also has warehouses in Atlanta and in Sparks, Nev. It employs 150.
``We compete against the foreign imports and we do use some limited imports, but we do manufacture what we possibly can. Part of getting closer to our customer is to cut shipping costs and negate what advantage some importers might have,'' Ladd Lavallee said.