Blow molder Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc. has broken ground on an 18,000-square-foot expansion in Ludlow, Mass.
The $7 million project will add 5,000 square feet of light manufacturing space, 12,000 square feet of warehouse space and three new loading docks in a 1,000-square-foot addition, officials with Ludlow-based Meredith-Springfield said in a news release. When completed, the entire site will cover 83,000 square feet.
Officials added that the larger footprint will provide space for six new machines that will help to automate production and increase capacity.
"Through our years of incredible growth, we've called Massachusetts home, so to be able to expand our headquarters where our company was born is important to who we are," President and CEO Mel O'Leary said.
The expansion will increase the site’s production capacity by 30 percent and will keep the size of Meredith-Springfield’s workforce at around 100, a spokesperson said in an email. The firm’s annual sales are near $20 million, the spokesperson added.
Since its founding in 1979, Meredith-Springfield has offered extrusion and coextrusion blow molding and injection stretch blow molding of a range of commodity and engineering resins. The firm's customers include American Distilling, B&G Foods, Henkel, Honeywell LifeMade Products, PepsiCo and Reebok.
"It's been a challenge to meet the needs of our growing business with our existing space," O'Leary said. "This investment in the building and manufacturing equipment allows us to better plan for the future and increase efficiencies."
Meredith-Springfield will install two new extrusion blow molding machines — a Bekum 155 and R&B/Sika 850 long stroke — as well as an Aoki AL-1000 injection stretch blow molding machine. In addition to the molding machines, the manufacturer has acquired three new, fully automatic Dyco baggers, and a Mexan Automation semi-automatic bagger.
These machines will automate bottle discharges after production, with attached conveyors offering leak checks and visual inspections. The baggers then will palletize the finished products, readying them for shipping while eliminating the use of corrugated boxes.
"Ultimately, our goal is to serve our customers with reduced lead times and higher quality products that are more sustainably packaged," O'Leary added. "We'll soon have the space and equipment we need to move forward to the next level as a company while providing the service our clients expect and deserve."
In early 2020, Meredith-Springfield began to recruit and train additional skilled employees and to cross-train existing workers to operate and repair more automated manufacturing systems. End markets served by the firm include food and spice, liquor, and health and beauty.