Updated — HPM North America Corp. has acquired a 7-acre parcel of land with attached building and equipment in Iberia, Ohio.
The company, a subsidiary of Chinese machinery manufacturer Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd., said the property includes 20,694 square feet of manufacturing space as well as six office sections.
Since Yizumi acquired former HPM's intellectual properties in 2011 and established HPM North America, the company has been operating in two buildings in nearby Marion, Ohio, with 37,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Yizumi deputy general manager Zhang Tao said the rented factory building is a few miles away from the office building. As a result, company employees have to commute between the two buildings, which not only wastes time but also causes inconveniences for management.
“The new property will enable us to integrate office space and manufacturing space, boost work efficiency, improve management, and establish a better foundation for HPM's future growth,” Zhang said, “[We are] not only cutting down rental cost but also reserving land for future expansion.”
The company plans to complete upgrading and furnishing the new factory building and office “as soon as possible” and will gradually exit the current building in Marion.
Iberia is about 10 miles east of Marion. HPM North America employs 22, according to its president, William Flickinger.
HPM also emphasizes that it's repositioning itself to focus on product development, sales and services. Machinery manufacturing will be carried out in Yizumi's China factories.
The company said the move reflects on its confidence in North America manufacturing.
“Judging from customer orders and trade show feedback, we are seeing the North American manufacturing sector is continuing to recover,” Zhang added, “HPM's acquisition of new land and buildings will help the company leverage the trend and further expand in this market.”
Flickinger said the new building will be a major upgrade over the facility in Marion. It has two cranes, one of 25 tons and the other of 10 tons. They can be used in combination, so the building actually has a 35-ton crane lifting capacity. Marion has just one, 15-ton crane, requiring HPM North American to bring in riggers to move its larger machines.
John Beary, general manager of sales and marketing, said the larger cranes are important as HPM returns to bigger machines — the HSII line goes up to 3,500 tons of clamping force. “There's no doubt that this facility will support our growing and being successful in bigger machines, absolutely,” Beary said.
The injection presses come from Yizumi in China, shipped in containers. Flickinger said HPM North America unloads the machines and, on the mid-sized and larger presses, re-assembles them. All machines are run-off and undergo full testing.
HPM North America bought the building in Iberia at an auction the Friday after Thanksgiving, Flickinger said.
With the move, HPM North America will return to Morrow County, Ohio — the home county of the original HPM. Marion is in Marion County, next door to Morrow County.
Senior reporter Bill Bregar contributed to this report.