Custom molder Hansen Plastics Corp. is planning a new home to consolidate its operations — and the nice thing is, it'll be within just a few minutes of Hansen's current facility in Elgin, Ill.
“We are an employee-owned injection molder so everyone has a stake in the business. We are all very excited. We're not just making a move, this is our future,” said Lee Shawback, who handles business development engineering and is the project manager for the move, during a telephone interview.
The company is leasing 136,000 square feet of space in a 225,000 facility and is currently taking steps to prepare it for its needs. Shawback said that the process will be in phases, and that they hope to move the first machinery by March 1.
Hansen has 65 molding machines ranging from 28 tons to 725 tons and they will be moved in stages. Shawback said that they hope to increase the number of machines to 90 in the next five years.
The new facility will allow the company to approach its operations “with a clean slate,” he said.
“All the different departments have teams set up. Everybody is brainstorming on what we can do. They all have ideas — everybody is feeding off one another. It's been amazing,” he said.
Shawback said that one of the goals when they decided to look for a new site was to retain the workforce. Now, they remain in the same industrial park, which allows workers the option of using public transportation to get to work.
He also noted that besides creating a more efficient operation, the new location also enables the company to put its shipping and warehousing under one roof. The company is designing new cranes and looking at all aspects of an efficiently designed manufacturing setup.
Erik Hansen started the company in 1971, and turned it into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan by 1998. He continues to sit on the Board of Directors
Shawback said that the city was a key partner in acquiring the new building. The City Council recently approved a fast-track permitting process, and waived building and development permit fees.