FLORA — Victor Plastics is being welcomed as a new industrial citizen to Madison County. The Iowa-based custom injection molder purchased Kincses Tool & Molding last month and plans to grow the Flora company that was started by Tibor Kincses in 1973 as a tool and die shop.
Michael W. Tryon, chief executive officer of Victor Plastics, said the newly acquired plant will be known as Victor Plastics Inc., Flora, MS Division. It’s part of Victor Plastics’ goal to grow from the current $105 million to $110 million a year to $150 million by 2009.
“We have to do it through acquisitions, and we’ve identified opportunities in the South,” Tryon said. “Plastics have replaced a lot of metal, and there’s a bright future for plastics. It has many applications and we have a large engineering staff exploring new uses for plastics.”
Tim Coursey, executive director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority, said developers are excited that Victor Plastics is coming to the Flora area of the county.
“We understand that Victor Plastics has big plans for the Flora operation, which includes significantly increasing the volume of the plant and creating new job opportunities,” he said. “They are making a significant investment in Madison County as well and we are thankful for that opportunity. As such, the development authority looks forward to forging a working partnership with them to help ensure their success going forward.”
Tryon and Victor’s human resources officers are assuring Flora employees that the plant is not going to close down or transfer jobs to other locations. All 50 current employees were hired back and Victor Plastics is looking for more employees.
“We love Mississippi, and we’re looking for people. We need to ramp up to 100 or more employees by the end of the first quarter in 2007,” he said. “We will get it ramped up as fast as we can because we’re not going to shy away from what they’re doing and we’re going to add output. That will require more people to do what we want to do.”
The plan is to get the Flora Division up to the size of Victor Plastics’ other facilities, 200 to 300 people, in two or three years and to operate it 24 hours, seven days a week.
Kincses has been servicing several industries with a strong alignment with the automotive industry through Nissan suppliers, Delphi and M-Tek. The plant added injection molding in the early 1980s. Victor Plastics serves clients in a broad range of industries, including appliances, consumer products, beverages, electronics and automotive.
“Historically, we haven’t been big in the automotive field,” Tryon said. “This purchase gives us an opportunity to get more into it and expand. We want to stay with automotive and earn the trust and respect of Delphi and M-Tek. We can grow that and transition other work.”
Victor Plastics has two notable customers in Mississippi, Viking Range in Greenwood and Whirlpool in Oxford. Locating its custom plastics molding operation nearer to these customers played a large role in the decision to acquire the Kincses plant.
“As good corporate citizens, we thought we could be a stronger partner for them to locate closer to serve their needs,” Tryon said. “We wanted a company in our type business with the infrastructure, systems and a trained workforce in place, as close as possible to Greenwood, and with the capacity to absorb more business.”
He said Victor Plastics looked aggressively and spent time in Mississippi in its search.
“We could sense with the cost of fuel and other logistics, we needed to do something more proactively. We felt it important to get a platform here. The time was right for them (Kincses) and us, so the dialogue accelerated,” he said. “We want to make it more profitable and then expand with more presses and people.”
Victor Plastics especially likes that the Kincses plant is about 72 miles down U.S. 49 from the Viking plant in Greenwood. As the company continues to expand, Tryon said it will work on keeping operations within a 300-mile radius of customers, noting that it makes sense considering the high price of fuel.
“There will be more acquisitions. This is just the first one that we’ve identified,” he added.
Kincses has 18 presses, from 55 to 500 tons. Victor Plastics plans to add about five injection presses in the next year, including 300-, 500-, 750- and 900-ton machines and expand to 1,500 and beyond, Tryon said. Victor also plans to double the plant’s 40,000-square-foot space.
Victor Plastics has three Iowa divisions, Victor, North Liberty and Kalona, and a division in Shenzhen, China. It has 770 employees and 130 presses ranging from 30 tons to 3,000 tons and 450,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at email@example.com.