UPDATED: Ohio-based structural foam molder 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics is spending $40 million in a pair of expansions, including a $27 million investment to buy and refurbish a facility in Bluffton, Ind. that was being shut down by reusable packaging manufacturer Buckhorn Inc.
As well, at its Holiday City, Ohio, headquarters plant, the company is in the middle of a $14 million expansion that will include a huge 6,600-ton high-pressure molding machine from Milacron Holdings Corp., which will expand its capacity for large part molding.
20/20 President Ron Ernsberger said the company is seeing solid growth across its markets, but it's hard for him to pinpoint specifically why business is good.
“I wish I could answer that,” he said. “I've been in this business my whole life and it's never been this busy.”
A Sept. 1 news release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said that the new Indiana facility will double 20/20's production capacity, and will create up to 155 jobs there by 2020.
IEDC is offering up to $810,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation. 20/20 plans to hire many of the former Buckhorn workers at the site, and is currently hiring press operators, forklift drivers and other staff.
The company has been investing. At NPE2015, it announced it was spending $13 million in new equipment for its Holiday City operations.
The firm employs about 200 in Ohio and plans to add 100 jobs in Holiday City with the new $14 million expansion, which is in addition to the spending announced at NPE.
It plans to take delivery of the 6,600-ton press, the largest Milacron has built of that type of machine, in September 2018, he said.
“We are basically sold out as far as capacity,” Ernsberger said. “We were looking to add machinery when Bluffton became available.”
The Bluffton plant was sold after Buckhorn's parent company, Akron, Ohio-based Myers Industries Inc., said in March it was consolidating operations in a bid to save $10 million a year.
Myers said at the time it was closing Bluffton and consolidating those operations into its Springfield, Mo., facility.
Myers, which makes reusable storage products, blamed significant declines in its agricultural end market. Local media had reported Buckhorn would be laying off about 100 workers.
20/20 uses structural foam molding to make pallets, carts, in-ground enclosures, pool panels and other products in a variety of end markets, including logistics, home and garden, consumer products, construction and leisure.
IEDC said that the city of Bluffton could consider additional incentives for 20/20, at the request of the Wells County Economic Development Corp.