Reusable packaging maker Orbis Corp. is expanding a manufacturing site in Ohio, a $42 million move that will allow company to make more totes, bulk containers and pallets.
The company said the plant in Urbana will add presses and tools as part the project that will increase square footage by 30 percent, or approximately 50,000 square feet.
Along with creating additional manufacturing capacity — eight additional injection molding machines — the project also will shorten lead times for orders.
Details about the project come from separate announcements from the company and the Ohio Rail Development Commission, which is providing some grant money.
Orbis President Bill Ash, in a statement, said the expansion "will not only provide more manufacturing flexibility to improve throughput and reduce lead times for our customers, but it will also bring new learning opportunities and technology to our current and future Urbana plant associates."
Orbis currently employs 324 people in Urbana, located in Southwest Ohio. The expansion is expected to add another 46 jobs over three years.
The work will include "building upgrades and training programs for our employees as well as new and expanding technologies for the Orbis business," said Todd Mathes, Orbis executive vice president of manufacturing, in a statement.
Orbis also will build a new, off-site warehouse in Urbana in conjunction with the manufacturing increase, the company said.
Orbis is part of Menasha Corp of Oconomowoc, Wis., and operates 13 manufacturing sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Expansion in Urbana will increase the company's overall molding capacity by 10 percent. Work should be completed by the second quarter of next year.
Segments served by the reusable packaging made in Urbana include automotive, food, beverage and consumer packaged goods, Orbis said.
Orbis is receiving a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Rail Development Commission to help with improvements to the plant's rail infrastructure that will cost $357,000, the commission said. The money will help pay for rehabilitation of an existing rail siding that has been out of service for years.