Ind-Ex Inc. dramatically has increased its size and moved to a new plant to accommodate an upsurge in extruded rubber product sales, more employees and the addition of the firm's first line for plastic goods.
The wholly owned subsidiary of New York-based Zero International Inc. expanded its entire operation with the purchase of a 10,500-square-foot site in Middlefield, Ohio, which serves as its headquarters and manufacturing facility.
It recently moved from a leased, 1,500-square-foot factory in Middlefield, according to General Manager Roy Keech.
The new plant was an ideal fit for Ind-Ex because its former owner, Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd., used the facility for rubber and plastic extrusion. Universal currently has a facility next to the site.
Ind-Ex, a custom extruder, plans to add four employees to give it a workforce of seven. In addition, the 5-year-old company is installing six new 6-inch manual air presses to more than double its splicing capacity, Keech said. Cost of the plant and new equipment were not disclosed.
``We needed the additional space simply because we're growing and the other plant was too small,'' Keech said. Also, the company needs more room to set up the plastics extrusion operation.
In addition, ``we needed more people, and we're talking about putting in another rubber extruder next year,'' he said, which would give the firm two.
The company had planned to put in a plastics line, he said, because Ind-Ex produces numerous rubber seals for Zero International and the parent company has a need to use plastics in many of its seals.
Because of that, Ind-Ex had plastics machinery in storage while it waited for the right opportunity to expand its business, Keech said. By expanding into plastic products, Ind-Ex becomes one of a select group of manufacturers capable of providing rubber and plastic extrusions, he added.
The company has a full-time die-maker on staff and a machine shop in its plant, allowing it to produce its own dies in-house, with typical turnaround of two to three days.
The company serves a variety of industries, including agricultural, appliance, construction, food processing, packing and automotive aftermarket.