Fresh off announcing plans to expand its medical injection molding business, Teel Plastics LLC is expanding again, this time in pipe extrusion.
The Baraboo, Wis.-based company announced Nov. 5 that it is leasing a vacant 180,000-square-foot facility near its headquarters to expand pipe production.
The plant is scheduled to be operational by Jan. 1, according to Christian Herrild, Teel's director of growth strategies.
"There is a validation time, so production would probably be a week or two behind that," Herrild said. "We will have four lines there to start and have space for an additional seven. We are looking to add another line later in 2021."
The plant will focus on polyethylene pipe products, including high and medium density PE gas pipe, plus conduit, microduct and multiduct products for the telecommunications sector.
"We have seen significant growth, on the order of doubling in the past year," Herrild said. "We are working with a broader array of companies focusing on the upper Midwest. We also added a dedicated salesperson in the market and that made a big impact."
The large industrial site was formerly occupied by LSC Communications, a commercial printer. LSC recently went through Chapter 11 reorganization, and the Baraboo plant has been winding down operations. Teel has been hiring some former LSC workers since August, Herrild said.
The facility will be Teel's fourth facility in Baraboo. Teel was founded in 1951 and was primarily an extruder for many years, although it also has a growing medical injection molding business. In October, the company announced plans to invest $6.8 million to add injection molding and extrusion equipment to make swab sticks used in COVID-19 test kits.
That project called for purchases of new equipment. The PE pipe project involves "mostly moving existing equipment from our current facility," Herrild said. The main production lines are from Milacron, although stripers and coating machines are from Davis-Standard.
"We are really excited about our growth and the opportunity to reinvest in Baraboo. We looked outside the area, but nothing could match the workforce, community and opportunity to grow where Teel was founded," Herrild said.
The project will add 23 new jobs.
Plastics News estimates Teel's extrusion sales at $63 million, with one plant and 269 employees.