Dip molder Xccent Inc. has invested $7.8 million to build a 100,000-square-foot factory on a 12-acre site in Wyoming, Minn., north of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Xccent is moving its headquarters and main manufacturing operation from an 80,000-square-foot plant in Osceola, Wis., to the Minnesota town, just 25 miles away. Xccent also runs a 30,000-square-foot plant in Fort Payne, Ala.
About 95 percent of the production has been moved to Wyoming, according to Marc Jaker, head of new business development for Xccent's medical and industrial division.
Most of the company's 80 employees are staying with the company in the new location, he said in an Aug. 19 telephone interview.
Jaker said the $7.8 million includes construction costs and the price to buy land. State and local governments contributed financial and infrastructure help to lure the company to Minnesota. That includes a $150,000 no-interest loan from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to help with construction costs, and tax breaks for five years under the JOBZ program. The city of Wyoming also extended a road.
Xccent dip molds and powder coats steel parts for steel playground equipment, park benches, picnic tables, vinyl-coated steel decking, medical, military and industrial parts. The main materials used for dip molding are PVC plastisol, latex and Neoprene rubber, but Jaker said the company also dip molds using polyurethane, polyethylene, nylons and thermoplastic elastomers.
The new building has a better layout and is more energy-efficient than the one in Wisconsin, Jaker said. Xccent also needed the larger building because it dip molds some large structural parts at high volumes.
We move swing sets and playground equipment through so fast that you wouldn't believe it. Steel comes and goes out of our plant fast, he said. Coated steel decking can be 20 feet long.
The company's biggest dipping tank measures 25 feet long by 8 feet wide, and is 6 feet deep. It's a small swimming pool, Jaker said.
Employees load the parts on hooks, which move through dip coating, then into an oven. Technology and the fact that Xccent can dip very large parts have helped Xccent be successful in the United States while some other dip molding has moved offshore, he said.
We're highly automated and computerized here, and that separates the men from the boys, too. This isn't a manual operation, Jaker said.
The company was originally named Nickelson Plastics Inc. In 2004, John Mathiesen bought the company as it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, renaming it Xccent. Mathiesen is president and CEO of Xccent.
Medical dip molding is a growing market. Xccent dip molds products such as tubing for stethoscopes, feminine-care kits, ice bags, probe covers and parts for stretchers, wheelchairs and hospital beds.