Franchino Mold & Engineering Co., located in Lansing, Mich., will add 65,000 square feet of manufacturing space as part of a $5 million expansion to be completed in coming months.
The tool maker recently purchased a facility behind its existing plant and plans to unite the two buildings, giving the company a total of 150,000 square feet.
“There's about 20 feet between them, so we're going to make one long building,” said Todd Phillips, vice president of sales and engineering.
Franchino supplies tooling for injection molds for a variety of industries, including automotive, building and construction, appliances and consumer products. The new space will house Franchino's larger equipment, including a new boring mill, for which Franchino is currently in negotiations. About $2 million of expansion costs will go toward new equipment, Phillips said.
“Our niche is really big tooling, and that seems to be built here in the United States versus going overseas, so that's kind of what we're gearing towards,” he added.
Franchino recently supplied tooling for a massive injection molding machine designed and built by Infiltrator Systems Inc. for its Winchester, Ky., factory. The press molds 15-foot-long septic tank halves from 245 pounds of polypropylene with 6,000 tons of clamping force, Plastics News reported at the time.
“That kind of tooling is requiring us to expand and increase our material handling capabilities and equipment,” Phillips said.
Currently under construction, the facility is expected to be 50 percent operational within a month and a half. Franchino has added 12 employees to its staff over the past two years, and is currently looking to hire 12 more, Phillips said.
The company reported $16 million in sales in its most recent fiscal year, a roughly 10 percent increase over the previous year's sales.
Franchino currently owns three facilities in Lansing, operating out of two of them. It's looking to sell or lease the third facility before moving into the new space.
“We're trying to consolidate and expand at the same time,” Phillips said.