California injection molder Jatco Inc. will open its first East Coast location early next year in Greenwood, S.C.
Jatco of Union City, Calif., needs the new location because of increased demand for its products, Chairman and CEO Paul Appelblom said in an Aug. 30 news release. The firm already operates more than 50 injection presses at plants in Union City and in Vacaville, Calif., and 10 additional presses at a plant in Dongguan, China.
The new plant will employ 39 and will be located at an existing facility in Greenwood. Jatco is spending $2 million to purchase and renovate the site. The firm will begin hiring for the new positions in mid-December, officials said in the release.
Customers had been asking us to locate a plant in the East since 2007, Appelblom said by phone Sept. 2. We really started to look earlier this year.
South Carolina is a very good distribution point to the East Coast, he added. Jatco which Appelblom founded in 1976 also will be able to reduce the $2,800 cost of sending a 53-foot trailer carrying its parts to Eastern customers.
It's a significant expense, Appelblom said of his firm's previous shipping and logistics costs. And everyone always waits until they run out of parts before they order more parts, so there was a time element involved as well.
The 38,000-square-foot site in Greenwood had been vacant for a couple of years, but previously was used as a nylon recycling plant. The site still has a 70,000-pound resins storage silo in place that Jatco will be able to use. Initially, the plant will house four injection presses ranging in size from 110-720 tons.
Jatco was assisted in the site selection process by the Greenwood Partnership Alliance, Greenwood County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
Appelblom described Jatco as a very diversified custom molder that makes a wide variety of parts for packaging, medical and other industries. Its molded products are based on a wide range of commodity and engineering resins. The firm employs almost 300 in California and China and expects to post annual sales of about $30 million this year, up slightly from 2009.
Prior to starting Jatco, Appelblom worked for custom injection molders in the San Francisco area, including one owned by his father.
I've been chewing on resin pellets all my life, he said.