Painesville, Ohio — Aug. 16 was a big day for Mar-Bal Inc., as the thermoset plastics firm formally opened its new production site in Painesville.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio-based Mar-Bal hosted an open house and plant tours, plus a ceremony that featured company executives and numerous elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce.
Painesville will be the home of Mar-Bal's compounding unit, which will operate as Altraset Composite Technologies. The firm makes compounds on five mixing lines in Painesville while also making finished parts on 23 injection presses.
"Starting Altraset was like the birth of a baby," President and CEO Scott Balogh said at the event, "and like with a child, you think of the potential of the facility."
Mar-Bal officials began looking at compounding plants around the world four years ago to gather the best technology and practices for the new plant, he added. They then located the 110,700-square-foot Painesville building, which was previously occupied by injection molder Core Systems before that business closed in 2013. Mar-Bal has hired many former Core employees.
"It's a testament to the grit and determination of our staff that we designed, built and moved in to the new plant in one year," Balogh said. "And we didn't miss a single shipment."
Mar-Bal started making compounds in Painesville in January and reached full production in April. The firm also recently bought an adjacent 5-acre parcel from the city of Painesville, which is located east of Cleveland. Acquiring that land will allow Mar-Bal to build an expansion of between 20,000 and 35,000 square feet within the next three years.
Mar-Bal now employs 130 in Painesville and could add another 70-80 to that total through the expansion. The firm already has moved compounding work from Chagrin Falls to Painesville, which is about 30 miles away. The firm's headquarters and R&D lab will remain in Chagrin Falls.