Gary Bremer is doing his part to add to a recent business boom in Post Falls, Idaho, home of world-famous Buck Knives Inc. and a call center that handles most of T-Mobile International AG's incoming sales calls.
Bremer's expanded polystyrene extrusion and block molding company, FMI-EPS LLC - which changed its name April 1 from Foam Molders Inc. - is adding a 31,000-square-foot plant next to an existing 45,000-square-foot facility built in 1998 when the company was formed.
FMI-EMS this summer will install a 20-foot Idro block-molding machine in the new plant and add about five more employees to its 25-person workforce. Total cost of the project is about $3 million, including $900,000 for the new press, Bremer said.
``We have a lot of things in the fire, but we can't do anything until we complete the move,'' he said.
The company makes packaging and insulation materials, as well as exterior trim shapes for homes and businesses. FMI-EPS also has a 50,000-square-foot plant in Jerome, Idaho, that employs 11. Bremer said the firm has several Hirsch EPS presses - three in Post Falls and seven in Jerome.
Bremer said the new plant will be finished by July. After the Idro machine is installed, he will increase his shape molding operation in the older building.
Bremer said the Post Falls expansion will double FMI-EPS' processing capacity from 4 million to 8 million pounds per year. FMI-EPS' customers are wholesale suppliers and distributors in the Pacific Northwest. Its products include concrete forms, dock logs, EPS beads and sheets, fish boxes and specialty packaging. Bremer said sales this year will be about $10 million, which represents 6-8 percent growth over 2007.
``We just have a growing market,'' he said.
FMI-EPS is a family operation: Bremer's wife, Glenda, is a co-owner and three of the couple's four children work full- or part-time in the plants.