Injection molder Midwest Molding Inc. plans to significantly expand its operation in Plain City, Ohio, just northwest of Columbus.
The company is adding staff, space and machinery to accommodate new contracts and anticipated growth during the next five to 10 years.
In addition to being a Tier 2 automotive supplier, Midwest Molding serves the packaging, medical, consumer products, construction, electronics, adhesives and industrial equipment markets. It makes prototypes and offers insert molding, ultrasonic welding, mold design and building, and subassembly services.
One motivation for the growth is an expanded contract under which Midwest Molding, acting as a third-tier automotive supplier in this case, will make lenses and housings for the 2023 Honda CR-V. Honda's Marysville, Ohio, manufacturing plant is only about 10 miles away.
Currently, the company leases about 60,000 square feet of a larger building it plans to buy. It also has a 50,000-square-foot, off-site warehouse and will consolidate operations into 130,000 square feet of the main site, Tim Preston, human resources and safety manager, said by phone June 30.
There's a lot of work to be done to get the new space ready, he said, adding that the move-in could be completed by the end of the year or beginning of 2022.
Bill Razor, president of the employee-owned company, noted the building is large enough to allow the company to expand to 230,000 of space. "This will be a good opportunity that will enable us to grow for many years," he said in a phone interview.
Midwest Molding now has 36 presses in Plain City, with clamping forces of 45-950 tons. It will spend $6 million to add equipment, including five new presses within that tonnage range, Razor said.
The company also plans to expand its current staff of 99 by hiring 55 workers.
In 2019, the company launched Southeast Molding Inc. in Ooltewah, Tenn., about 20 miles east of Chattanooga, with about 10 employees, and eight presses from the Plain City plant.
Razor estimated combined annual sales of the two plants at $20 million to $24 million.