Work is underway on a project that will increase square footage at Mold-Rite Packaging's Twinsburg, Ohio, plant.
The 33,600-square-foot expansion will provide enough space to eventually add 12-15 injection molding cells and allow the company to keep ahead of growing demand, CEO Jim Fitzgerald said.
The caps and closures maker has been experiencing growth in a variety of markets, but Fitzgerald said demand has been especially strong in the health care segment. Food and consumer products also are performing well.
"It's just an investment to allow us to keep up with the growth requirements of the business itself," Fitzgerald said. "It's our second expansion in the last two and a half years now. It's about allowing us to stay ahead of the industry demand and customer requirements for growth."
The new project also comes less than a year after Mold-Rite was purchased by private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group LP. Clearlake also owns blow molder Pretium Packaging LLC and just recently took tape, film and packaging maker Intertape Polymer Group Inc. private.
"Our business philosophy is to invest ahead of capacity constraints. So our goal is clear to start looking at facility expansion when we get into the 80-90 percent range just because of lead time," Fitzgerald said.
The expansion, once complete, will bring the facility to more than 150,000 square feet and provide enough room for "multiple years of growth," the CEO said.
The exact price of the Twinsburg project is not being disclosed, but Fitzgerald characterized it as "multimillion-dollar."
The added space and equipment and will increase employment in Twinsburg, but he said an exact number is difficult to determine right now as part of the project will include investing in automation. That will include automation at injection presses as well with material handling and warehousing.
"Certainly going forward, I think we're going to deploy work cells that are the best combination of manual and automation," he said. "Unequivocally, there will be an increase in total headcount at the facility. I don't have a firm headcount at this point."
Growth, in Fitzgerald's view, not only means making more caps and closures, but also eventually moving into other segments of plastics manufacturing. Mold-Rite already does some business in making jars.
"Our view is that we have a great set of core capabilities today. We believe we can cover a broader part of the global packaging sector leveraging those capabilities," he said.
With the Twinsburg facility being the company's most western location in the United States, the company will look to expand its geographic footprint to other parts of the country, the CEO said. International expansion also is on the table. Other Mold-Rite manufacturing sites are in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Somerset, N.J.
"Clearlake's reputation is being one of the global leaders from a private equity perspective in identifying well-run businesses that have additional growth potential largely fueled by capital deployment," Fitzgerald said. "Investing in the infrastructure to help support future growth. We expect to be acquisitive over the next couple of years."
"This 33,600-square-foot addition will house our investment in numerous state-of-the-art injection molding manufacturing cells," Carol Rinder, vice president of operations at the Twinsburg facility, said in a statement. "This added capacity brings additional jobs and revenue to our community, while increasing our production to nearly 2 billion packaging components each year."