UPDATED — About a year and a half ago, Sussex IM's founder said he expected the company was heading into a growth spurt.
And that's exactly what's happening at the Sussex, Wis.-based injection molder.
Sussex has increased its facility by 12,000 square feet and added 12 percent to its staff as part of an expansion project valued at more than $1 million. The company now has more than 127,000 square feet under roof and 450 employees.
Sussex has enjoyed an average growth rate of 11 percent annually during the last five years, and the latest expansion will allow that growth to continue, the company said.
The extra room and staff allows Sussex to increase production and expand capabilities for inline filling, including micro-dosing, check weighing and overwrapping capabilities. Sussex said the investment increases production capacity by 15 percent.
“As a result, Sussex IM is a more appealing, U.S.-based strategic partner for key brand owners than ever before. We are perfectly positioned for further growth,” said founder and President Keith Everson in a statement.
It was in 2013 that Everson talked about the expected growth spurt that the company anticipated following its buyout of Rexam's North American cosmetic-compact business. The company had been acting as a contract manufacturer for Rexam.
Sussex makes a variety of injected molded parts, and compacts are a particular sweet spot for the firm and Everson.
But, that's certainly not the only market the company serves, according to Ed Fabiszak, vice president of sales and marketing for Sussex.
“We're fairly well diversified,” he said in a telephone interview, pointing to home and garden and sporting goods as two other areas of growth for the firm.
Sussex also is pleased with its Mr. Lid food container product line that features a seal-safe hinged lid that solves the problem of all those containers without lids. And all those lids without containers. Mr. Lid has been available through television advertisements and recently was reintroduced at Wal-Mart, Fabiszak said.
“We're poised for growth. Our target from a revenue standpoint is to be at $100 million. This year will be in the 60s — about 65, 70 [million dollars],” he said. “With the addition, it provides us with the floor space to bring on additional molding capabilities in the target markets we're working in.”
“We expanded on our existing facility for additional growth as well as a couple of applications that required air control systems to address the filling of a home and garden product,” he said.
The extra space also provides more room for the assembly of molded parts, and could eventually house molding equipment as the company grows, Fabiszak said.
The company dates back to 1977, and Sussex-Plastics and became part of Rexam in 1999 before Sussex IM was formed in 2010 thanks to a management buyout.
Double-digit growth in recent years, Everson said in his statement, “is an exciting example of how U.S. production know-how can compete globally, against offshore providers, by delivering superior quality, innovation and return on investment.”