Mold maker Electroform Co. Inc. is preparing to build a new headquarters plant near its current base in Rockford, Ill.
The company is near to closing on a deal to buy land for the project. Electroform expects to move to the building within a year, President and Chief Executive Officer Wade Clark said in a May 9 interview at the Plastics Encounter trade show in Cincinnati.
``There's a large interest in our multishot capabilities, and in our ability to help customers develop new products,'' Clark said. Other specialties that have proved popular with the firm's injection molder customers include insert molding and automation techniques.
The expansion will allow the company to boost its toolmaking operation and its research and development. Electroform's current headquarters is 15,000 square feet; the new building will be about twice that size, with room to grow to nearly 100,000 square feet.
Electroform will add 10-20 workers in Rockford during the next two years, he said. The company currently employs 30 in Rockford, plus four in Greenville, S.C., and one in Clearwater, Fla.
The company has been investing in new technology and capacity. Last year, Electroform added $1.2 million in equipment and invested $600,000 in R&D, Clark said.
Last year at NPE, Electroform attracted attention with an exhibit that included a proprietary tool and automation system with two-shot molding, in-mold decorating and automated assembly of six separate parts. At the time, Clark said U.S. mold makers need to push the capabilities of their craft.
``Getting into these other things is of great interest to me personally,'' Clark said at Plastics Encounter. ``We've created a show-me atmosphere. We're bringing companies in and showing them how to do things. Not just talking about it.
``Most of our customers have gone to Europe in the past to buy their tooling. We give them a stateside option,'' Clark said. ``We were known for precision tooling. Now we're also known for these other things: product development, twin-shot and assembly.''