Kord Products comeback — expansion plans on full throttle
The company that pioneered the plastic petri dish, Kord Products Inc., will soon begin construction on a 55,000 sq,...
The company that pioneered the plastic petri dish, Kord Products Inc., will soon begin construction on a 55,000 sq, ft. expansion to its plant in Brampton, ON. The construction will begin this February and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. The addition will be a state-of-the-art, four rack-level DC warehouse, replacing off-site leased warehouse space, according to Gene Allevato, vice president and general manager
Allevato says the company has turned around its fortunes after being purchased by horticultural container manufacturer ITML in 1999.
“ITML has invested over $6 million in plant upgrades and new equipment at all our plants,” reports Allevato. In addition to the Brampton facility, Kord operates a fibre packaging plant in Burlington, ON and an injection molding plant in Lughoff, SC.
In the three years since ITML purchased the company, Kord’s Brampton plant has added two new 500-ton Engel injection molding machines and a new centralized materials handling system, including vacuum conveyors and four silos. Additionally, the company has placed orders for two 300-ton Husky Hylectric machines. The machines, which are scheduled to arrive in May, will be used to mold a new order for petri dishes. The machines will be fully integrated with automation, including conveyors for off-loading parts and robotic stacking. Two new molds have also been ordered for this equipment.
The two segments of the company’s core business are retail horticultural products, including the Planter’s Pride line of seed trays and other products, and lab ware products, including Kord Valmark petri dishes, and other custom-molded work. The company now employs 143 full-time people, as well as about 50 workers on a temporary basis, during heavy seasonal work schedules.
“We’ve come full circle as a company,” says Allevato. “We had some rough times in the ’80s and ’90s when we weren’t investing. Since the ITML purchase we’ve turned it around. We have already secured new contracts in our retail horticultural business and lab ware business that will double sales in 2003.”