Evco Plastics Inc. is investing about $6 million to build a 50,000-square-foot expansion at its MED plant, which does medical molding — and the building will triple the size of its clean room area.
President Dale Evans said the 50,000-square-foot expansion will include 20,000 square feet of clean room space. The current building totals 34,000 square feet, 10,000 of which is clean room space.
Evco opened the MED plant in 1996 at its headquarters city of DeForest, Wis. This marks the first addition to that facility. The $6 million price tag is for the 50,000-square-foot addition only, including the Class 8 clean room capacity, that filters the air 15 times an hour, and it does not include machinery to fill it, Evans said.
Evans said that crews poured the footings on Aug. 14. Evco officials broke ground on Aug. 7, and they project it will be completed in February.
Evans medical business has been solid in recent years. “We have done medical stuff for 50 years. It took us a while to finally build a clean room, then it took us a while to fill it up. But these last three years, things are coming really quick,” he said.
Evans said Evco has secured good customers and is molding a wide range of parts, including for diagnostics and medical devices. “Everything from little tiny things for DNA testing, to really big incubators for premature babies,” he said.
The MED plant currently has about 15 injection molding machines, small-tonnage presses that top out at 200 tons of clamping force. Evans said the company plans on having another 15 injection presses because of the expansion, but the machines will be larger.
Evco now runs four vertical presses in the MED plant, and that could to up to six or seven after the expansion, Evans said. The verticals use robotic loading, he said .
Evco officials will look at the MED plant's current press brands, of Toyo and Engel, Evans said. He added that a third machinery maker is in the mix, too, which he declined to name.
Since the MED plant in DeForest began operations, Evco has made major investments in medical molding in China. There will be a major investment in automation at the DeForest expansion, where employment should rise to about 150 people, up from 80 now, Evans said. But Evans said the expansion should triple the sales from MED.
“We hope to triple the sales but double the amount of people,” he said.