Muskego, Wis.-based InPro Corp. is moving its decorative surfaces operations into a new, 70,000-square-foot plant in New Berlin, Wis., that company officials expect to open in the third quarter of 2008.
The company is vacating a 42,000-square-foot facility in nearby Menomonee Falls, Wis. The entire 50-member staff will be retained.
The decorative surfaces business was acquired in January 2007 when InPro bought Lippert Corp. It manufactures polymer-based simulated stone bathware products through a molding process using thermoset polyester resins mixed with mineral fillers.
``The beauty of this is that it's like we're starting with a blank slate,'' InPro spokesman Evan Bane said in a Dec. 19 telephone interview. ``It's an opportunity to lay out our plant for maximum efficiency and throughput.''
Glenn Kennedy, InPro's executive vice president of plant operations, said in a news release that the company has experimented with outsourcing production domestically and overseas. InPro officials decided they prefer to do it themselves.
``We are a company that prefers to control its operational destiny,'' Kennedy said. ``Since acquiring Lippert's assets, we've taken this past year to gain insights on how to produce higher-quality surface goods.
``We have gained a solid vision of how to structure for world-class, continuous-flow manufacturing to succeed in this industry. We're in it for the long haul.''
The new plant will boost the production capacity of InPro's decorative surfaces operation by 400 percent, Kennedy said.
InPro had 2006 sales of $56 million, up 19 percent from the previous year. It employs about 375.
The company also extrudes PVC to make interior and exterior products such as wall guards, handrails and sheet for the health-care, hospitality, education, government, marine and retail construction industries. It also extrudes handrails, wall guards and corner guards from composites made of wood and recycled high density polyethylene under its EnviroGT line.
InPro operates a vinyl recycling program that gives credits toward new purchases when customers return old vinyl products.