Recycled plastic outdoor furniture manufacturer C.R. Plastics Products Inc. is spending C$5.25 million (US$4.2 million) to upgrade and expand.
The Stratford, Ontario, company is in the midst of a four-year program that will add automation and extrusion capacity, according to C.R. Plastics Chief Financial Officer Bruce Valentine.
"We continue to grow at about 25 percent a year," Valentine told Plastics News in a phone interview.
Major equipment purchases are being lined up and the company will adapt them to its proprietary techniques. Deltaplast Machinery Ltd. of Concord, Ontario, is supplying extrusion equipment. Thermwood Corp. of Dale, Ind., will provide CNC machining equipment. I-Cubed Industry Innovations Inc. of Stoney Creek, Ontario, will supply robotic assembly machinery. No building addition is necessary for its 300,000-square-foot facility.
C.R. Plastics will assemble the new equipment in a manufacturing cell that will run at a much higher rate than its current production cell, which runs at full capacity five days a week. The new line also will allow more production flexibility, a boon to its new product launches.
Valentine said one new line is its Harvest dining collection for patios and other outdoor areas. In addition to making Adirondack style chairs and related recycled plastic furniture for consumers, the firm also sells into hospitality and commercial markets. Its furniture is based on recycled high and low density polyethylene sourced from consumer and industrial streams.
"Finding recycled material is not a problem," Valentine explained, "but it is a problem finding workers in Stratford."
C.R. Plastics employs 220, which makes it the largest private employer in the city. It competes for labor with nearby auto assembly operations. The private company hopes to add about a dozen workers needed for expanded operations.
The province of Ontario's Southwestern Ontario Development Fund will assist the program with funding of about C$785,000 (US$628,000) on top of what C.R. Plastics is investing.