Jerico Plastic Industries Inc. has opened a new compounding plant in Minerva, Ohio, that will replace a smaller plant the company had operated in Uniontown, Pa.
The 55,000-square-foot Minerva plant will solve a space crunch for Wadsworth, Ohio-based Jerico. The firm also operates a 40,000-square-foot site in Greensboro, Ga.
``We were cramped on space and needed additional power,'' co-owner Stephen Copeland said of the 21,000-square-foot Uniontown plant, which Jerico had operated since 2001. ``Opening in Minerva will allow us to combine offices and manufacturing.''
The Minerva facility will employ 15 and house a pair of single-screw extrusion lines.
New grinding equipment also will be installed at the plant later this year, increasing Jerico's post-industrial recycling capacity and allowing the firm to improve service times in toll reprocessing and proprietary reprocessed compounds. The site also will include a sales office, lab and manufacturing area.
Jerico has moved three office jobs from Wadsworth to Minerva, but will maintain a three-person headquarters in Wadsworth. In Greensboro, Jerico employs 20 and operates two single-screw lines and a smaller twin-screw line for specialty work.
The firm supplies polyethylene-based compounds to the rotomolding market. The new location will allow the firm to serve customers in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast, officials said. Its reprocessing business handles PE, polypropylene, polystyrene, PVC and other resins.
Copeland declined to provide a sales estimate, but said Jerico's sales grew 10 percent in 2004 and should match that feat in 2005. He chalked up the firm's growth to new custom and proprietary products in agricultural, recreational and other markets.
Copeland and his wife, Brenda, own the company along with Roger King.
Stephen Copeland and King launched Jerico in 1997, after meeting earlier at compounder A. Schulman Inc. in Fairlawn, Ohio. In late 1997, Jerico bought the Greensboro site, which had operated as Conex Plastic Industries Inc.