Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is expanding and extending plastics molding technologies at its Winfield, Kan., manufacturing plant and distribution center.
The company said March 2 that it will invest $27 million in the facility by the end of 2017. The operation now uses injection molding, blow molding and foam processing, and it will add structural web injection molding, Newell Rubbermaid spokeswoman Hannah Van Malssen said in an email correspondence.
The investment encompasses equipment purchases and job creation, but it does not include any additional floor space.
Winfield will boost its production of food storage containers such as the Easy Find Lids system. It also will add molding capacity and distribution infrastructure for some Rubbermaid Commercial products, such as Brute waste containers. The facility now mainly molds Rubbermaid product lines for outdoor storage, outdoor living, home organization, insulated water coolers and ice chests.
“This expansion will optimize our supply chain operations in the U.S. and allow us to better serve our retail partners on the West Coast,” Van Malssen explained.
Newell Rubbermaid reviewed its supply chain footprint and decided Winfield was the top candidate for the investment based on available space to expand and its location to provide an additional distribution point for Rubbermaid Commercial customers on the West Coast. Winfield is among the firm's largest and most efficient operations, according to Van Malssen.
The project will add about 320 jobs to Winfield's current staff of 600 full-time employees. Another 85 to 190 workers are employed seasonally.
The state of Kansas and the Cowley County Economic Development Department are providing an undisclosed amount of support for the project. Newell Rubbermaid is the largest employer in Cowley County. Another plastics operation in the vicinity is packaging producer MeadWestvaco Corp.
Newell Rubbermaid acquired the Winfield operation in 1986 when it bought Gott Manufacturing, a pioneer in plastic water coolers. In 2012 Newell Rubbermaid spent $26.6 million to expand manufacturing and distribution there when it moved some operations from Greenville, Texas, where it closed a plant.