Iberia, Ohio — If you blink while driving, you can miss Iberia, a tiny rural town in Morrow County, Ohio. But officials of Yizumi-HPM Corp. say the machinery maker's new 22,000-square-foot headquarters still makes a bold statement.
Yizumi-HPM bought the building at an auction in late 2015, and has invested $1.8 million so far in what was formerly a fabrication shop. The work included a two-story office area, a high-tower area at the front entrance, racking and extensive remodeling.
"This says, hey, we're here. We have strong commitment to the marketplace," said Bill Duff, general manager of sales and marketing. "We have a beautiful facility. We have engineering. We have service. We have parts. So we have a heck of a lot more than most of the other suppliers of offshore equipment. And that's what we're trying to get across."
The building sits on a nearly 8-acre site, giving Yizumi-HPM room to grow. Yizumi officials wanted to own a headquarters, not just lease, Beary said.
Chinese machinery maker Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd. bought the intellectual property of HPM in 2011 during an auction at the hulking, closed-down factory in Mount Gilead, Ohio. HPM, founded in 1877 to make apple presses, got into injection molding machines, sheet extrusion lines and die-casting machines. The company was one of earliest U.S. manufacturers of injection molding presses. (HPM sheet lines are no longer being produced).
Locally owned until the late 1990s, HPM had gone through a chaotic roller coaster of ownership changes, layoffs, unpaid taxes and a bankruptcy before finally closing its doors in Mount Gilead for good in late 2009.
Yizumi-HPM is leasing the former HPM Remanufacturing building in nearby Marion, Ohio, with 20,000 square feet and a 150-ton crane for moving big machines and parts, where it will rebuild and refurbish machines and handle larger new machines coming from China.
The Iberia building is equipped with a 25-ton crane and a 15-ton crane.
Duff said Yizumi-HPM currently has 22 machines in inventory, housed at the Marion facility.
Yizumi, which is publicly traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange, is one of China's largest makers of injection molding and die-casting machines.
Yizumi-HPM President John Beary said HPM has had stability for the past six years under the ownership of its Chinese parent, which has a strong financial position.
"So for us, it's nice to be able to talk to an owner that understands the business. They're in the business," he said.
Yizumi-HPM officials talked about the company and its new headquarters building in an interview in Iberia Oct. 11. They were busy getting ready for a grand opening and open house Oct. 18-19.
Yizumi-HPM employs 20 full-time, including four engineers. Beary said another six or seven part-time employees are handling service on the thousands of existing legacy HPM presses in the field.
Beary said Yizumi-HPM does some U.S. assembly of die-casting machines. But on injection molding presses, the smaller machines come fully assembled from China.
"The larger machines, we do final assembly here," he said, using pre-assembled components that come from China.
In Iberia, Beary said, Yizumi-HPM will have corporate offices, sales, service and some of the parts business. There is an area for demonstrating machines and doing customer mold trials.