Barku Plastics LLC will move in December from its current plant in Cleveland, Tenn., to a larger, adjacent injection molding facility.
In a recent note to customers, the injection molder said the transition will occur from Dec. 6-20. In an Oct. 27 telephone interview, President John Hawk said the firm's presses and auxiliary equipment will be taken offline. Older equipment will be cleaned and painted before being moved from the company's current 17,500-square-foot plant into the new 41,000-square-foot factory.
They're going to be arranged in a line inside the new building that will be so straight, you could put a laser on it, he said. That's the German way.
Barku Plastics is the U.S. subsidiary of Barku Kunststofftechnik GmbH of Barnstorf, Germany. Founded in September 2003, the Tennessee operation supplies customers in the agricultural, military, automotive and consumer-goods industries.
When the newest press, a KraussMaffei, arrives, Barku Plastics will have nine machines with clamping forces of 35-1,000 tons.
The new plant includes the company's latest equipment additions: a 1,000-ton press that can mold parts over 10 pounds, a 100-ton machine that will open up needed capacity in that range and a 35-ton injection machine that will allow Barku to mold in-house parts that it had outsourced.
The reason we buy KraussMaffei machines is that they're more expensive, but they're very, very, very good, Hawk said.
Barku Plastics' sales are projected to be about $2.5 million in 2010, and to double in 2011, he said.
The firm also plans in 2011 to install two to three additional injection presses and has long-term goals of installing machinery to extrude profiles for its sister company, Lubing Systems LP of Cleveland. Lubing supplies nipple-drinking systems egg-conveying systems, and high-pressure fogging systems to the U.S. poultry industry.
There's been a lot going on in [the past] year, Hawk said. When the [avian influenza] scare happened a few years back, the poultry industry suffered, but it's come back.
Like Barku Plastics, Lubing Systems also has a German partnership, with Lubing Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG of Barnstorf.
Ludwig Bening founded Lubing Maschinenfabrik as a mechanical engineering company in Barnstorf in 1949. In 1967, the company produced its first drinking nipples for pigs and laying hens. In 1977, Barku Kunststofftechnik was formed to manufacture parts for Lubing equipment.