Negri Bossi North America will build a 36,000-square-foot North American headquarters in Plymouth Township, Mich. — a $4 million-plus investment more than double the size of its current headquarters in New Castle, Del.
President Tony Firth said Negri Bossi North America, which sells presses made by Negri Bossi SpA in Italy, should move into the building in the second quarter of 2018. Plymouth Township is between Detroit and Ann Arbor.
"It's going to be a warehouse, showroom, training facility and some assembly," Firth said. "It represents a significant commitment to growing sales."
Firth said Magic MP SpA, an Italian blow molding machinery maker, will be a tenant in the building. At last year's Society of Plastics Engineers' Annual Blow Molding Conference, a Magic official told Plastics News the company planned to set up a U.S. showroom and headquarters in the Ann Arbor area.
Firth said both companies will gain from being in the same building. "The benefits to Negri Bossi is it actually gets more traffic through the building. It becomes an Italian technical center," he said.
Firth said once the facility gets established, both companies will have a yearly mini-exhibition where they invite auxiliary equipment suppliers to set up.
Negri Bossi's headquarters will include 6,000 square feet of office and training facilities; a 5,500-square-foot demonstration and training area, with machines under power; 22,500 square feet of warehouse space for stocking machines, robots and spare parts; and a 50-seat classroom.
Firth said the company will be able to demonstrate injection molding machines of up to 2,000 tons of clamping force.
Negri Bossi opened its headquarters in New Castle in 2008. Firth said company officials have not yet decided what to do in Delaware once the Michigan headquarters opens.
"At this juncture, we anticipate keeping a presence out of there to service the East Coast customers. But we'll probably not be in this facility," he said in a telephone interview from the current headquarters.
The new building will house three 25-ton cranes. Two of them will be configured to work together to lift 50 tons, he said.
Negri Bossi plans to do subassembly of the company's Sytrama robots, he said.
The company will modify injection presses to customer specifications, to improve delivery times and give Negri Bossi more flexibility. Customers will be able to do mold trials on the large demo and tool trial area.
Training played a large role in the building design. In addition to displaying Negri Bossi technology, Firth is going to open up the showroom for other uses. "We're already in dialog with a [vocational technical] school to use our facility for their lab work, for their training," he said, declining to identify the technical college because the agreement has not finalized yet.
Firth said that Negri Bossi also will allow some third-party process training firms to use the facility.
Firth said Negri Bossi wants to help find and the next generation of skilled plastics employees. For instance, he said it's hard to find young people trained in electrical and electronics — people that Negri Bossi can convert into technicians.
"We've got to get these guys interested in what we do," he said.