Material handling systems supplier Holland, Mich.-based Ensign Equipment Inc. built a 10,000-square-foot addition at its assembly plant and nearly doubled space to meet demand for automation.
Founded in 1990, the company produces equipment to convey, mix, load, unload, weigh, feed, and store dry bulk materials for the recycling, industrial, pharmaceutical, food, agricultural and rubber markets with about 30 employees.
The expansion project started in 2021 but was dogged by supply chain disruptions that delayed completion until mid-2022.
Structural steel for building was the initial delay, according to Andrew Hartline, Ensign vice president of sales and marketing.
"This caused our timing with the contractors not to align, which resulted in additional challenges with many of them throughout the build," Hartline said in an email.
With the assembly hall addition finally completed, the company has breathing room for continued growth, Hartline added.
"Over the past three years we have tripled our staffing to assist in facilitating the increased demand in our machines and systems, as well as help provide the internal infrastructure required to support the increased demand for our machines and systems," Hartline said. "This has resulted in over two times the sales growth over the same time period."
He pointed to a "strong" increase from existing and new customers to be more automated and more intuitive for employees.
"We've experienced an overall increase in demand for all of our equipment," Hartline said. "Additionally, there has been an increase in demand for more automated systems and system integration, which typically takes up more assembly space than stand-alone equipment. Lastly, we've pushed and increased our presence in other verticals outside of plastics, such as food, industrial and parcel/package handling equipment."
Ensign President Mark Hoffman began making significant investments in people and technology a few years back, Hartline added. He declined to disclose how much money was invested in the project.
The expansion follows two other projects in the last three years to increase office space for new hires in the sales, engineering and procurement departments.
"This has primed us for our recent growth," Hartline said. "Our team's hard work and dedication has allowed us to keep up with the increased demand we've been fortunate to experience."
With more space and a bigger production team, Hartline said Ensign is able to provide faster lead times for its equipment and further support its mission to keep customers moving.