Organic growth seems to suit 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics Ltd. just fine, and the company continues to expand its facilities in Ohio and Indiana to keep up with demand.
The Holiday City, Ohio-based company specializes in low-pressure structural foam gas-assist injection molding. In October, it announced plans to expand add 240,000 square feet to its existing 170,000-square-foot facility in Bluffton, Ind.
According to 20/20 President Ron Ernsberger, work in Bluffton is just getting up a good head of steam.
"The building should be up by third quarter 2019," he said in an email interview. "Getting the machines in, up and running will likely take a full year beyond the building part."
20/20 purchased the Bluffton facility in 2017 and initially planned to invest more than $27 million to purchase, equip, and expand the facility and create up to 155 jobs. However, the newly announced expansion is larger than initially announced. A total investment now reaches over $41 million and the creation of over 200 jobs since the August 2017 acquisition.
In announcing the acquisition of the former Buckhorn site, at first 20/20 said it planned to purchase the presses and equipment at the site. The company eventually decided to buy the plant and its assets, allowing it to provide more expansive services to its customers.
"This marks the continuation of a great relationship between 20/20 and our community," Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis said. "Working together, as the project was in its early stages, we learned that we share common values and goals. 20/20 will be a good corporate citizen of Bluffton and we welcome them with open arms."
The city of Bluffton offered 20/20 tax-incremental bond funding for the project. 20/20 officials noted that the cooperation the company has had with the Common Council of Bluffton, Wells County Economic Development, and the state of Indiana has been positive.
"Everyone was excellent to work with," Ernsberger said. "We could not have put this together without their assistance.
Earlier this year, the company announced it was adding a 6,600-ton Milacron press at its Ohio plant. The machine features a 200-pound shot. During NPE2018 in Orlando, Ernsberger noted the press is among the largest in the industry and the largest produced by Milacron.
According to Ernsberger, the company is investing about $32 million in its expansion at the Holiday City facility, including the new machine. The company also is planning its third expansion in four years at the plant.
The expansion mode began in 2015, when the 20/20 purchased 1,500- and 500-ton structural foam presses and a 2,600-ton high pressure injection molding machine in a move that called for more than 200,000 square feet of new warehouse, storage, office and training space and 50 new jobs. That project was completed at the end of 2016.
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.
Overall, Ernsberger noted the current expansion project at Holiday City will create 425,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space.
"It also will include six additional high-pressure injection molding machines," he said. "The area and machines will finalize by April 1. The warehouse will finalize by the third quarter of 2019."
Ultimately, the expansion at Holiday City could create from 50 to 70 jobs and Ernsberger said the expansion will help the business.
"We are over capacity now and have additional work on the way, including new mold builds," he said. "We are running 24/7 and it will give us a chance to catch everybody up and then get back to a more normal schedule."
Going forward, Ernsberger said he is excited about the future for 20/20.
"We have positioned ourselves for growth and it is happening faster than we can handle at the moment," he said. "Sales will increase as our customer base continues to grow."
Ernsberger also noted the company's capabilities and capacity will almost double the output 20/20 had in 2016.
"The opportunities for our employees is limitless and will only continue to grow," he said. "It will take us all of 2019 to get both facilities up to full strength so it will be somewhat of a transition year. The year 2020 will be our bust out year with both plants running at capacity."