Rotational molder Horizon Manufacturing Group LLC has expanded operations and moved into its new, 40,000-square-foot facility in Lake Mills, Wis., to improve production flexibility.
The latest expansion brought the family-owned rotomolding company, which started in 2012 with two used machines, to a total of 100,000 square feet, Keith Krausse, general manager, told Plastics News.
"A great deal of the new square footage," Krausse said, will be used for a new customer stocking program to house-specific levels of stock "for high-volume or more frequently running products."
"It seems like a lot of our customers have been challenged with space constraints for themselves, so this gives us good production flexibility to continue to manufacture and level-load our production schedules," Krausse added. "It gives them a certain comfort level that we have that product to pull."
The warehouse space allows for more manufacturing in Horizon's other facilities, he said.
Horizon has 85 employees and 10 rotational molding machines. The company ranked 47th in the current Plastics News survey of North American rotomolders, with sales of $10.5 million.
Horizon's recently acquired ISO 9001 certification came after some of its new, potential and existing clients shared that they would soon require it from their suppliers and vendors, Krausse said. "There's a huge migration to this requirement."
New equipment installed this year includes the company's 10th rotomolding machine, a 3D scanning arm, a five-axis CNC router and a robotic flaming cell.
Though Horizon's sales are about 95 percent custom rotomolding, Krausse said, it's also working to develop and expand its proprietary product line in pet, food and waste, lawn and garden, and recreational products. In June, it released a new insulated bed cover for the Polaris Ranger UTV, which was designed and manufactured in-house.
"In the winter months, it keeps things warm," Krausse said. "For ice fisherman, it keeps your minnows and baits warm, and in the summer, it keeps things cooler so if you're packing food for a ride or carrying a cooler within the bed cover, it keeps that whole containment area insulated."
The company's continued growth comes despite having "no timeline or end in sight" to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. "We've been weathering those storms and working through that process."