Erie Plastics Co. is expanding at its site in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, adding a second manufacturing cell with an eye toward building its packaging business in Europe.
The cell consists of four Husky Hylectric injection presses with clamping forces of 300 tons, and three pieces of secondary machinery. The cell is the second for Erie in Hungary and will start in early summer, said Howard Nelson, vice president and general manager of the Corry, Pa., injection molder.
The equipment will produce push-pull caps for Alcoa Inc. drink bottles, Nelson said during the Plastics News Executive Forum, held Feb. 28 to March 2 in Litchfield Park.
Pittsburgh-based Alcoa is supplying the molds and secondary equipment for the new cell.
Erie started manufacturing in Hungary in 2000 under an alliance with automotive supplier Loranger Manufacturing Co. Loranger, formerly of Warren, Pa., since has moved its entire operation to Szekesfehervar and changed its name to Loranger Ipari, he said.
Under the agreement, Loranger is supplying the workers and the building, while Erie provides equipment and technology. Erie will spend $2.9 million on the expansion, and the plant will hire 10-12 new workers, Nelson said. Currently, the firm employs 20 there. Erie uses about 80 percent of the 75,000-square-foot building.
Erie has four similar manufacturing cells at its two U.S. plants, Nelson said. The company recorded $83.4 million in sales last year.