A packaging company based in Wisconsin bought a Hickory company and plans to quadruple production at the plant.
MaxPax, a company that makes and packages products for businesses, bought Fill-Pac on Tate Boulevard Southeast as well as the Fill-Pac equipment.
MaxPax takes over on Sept. 14, MaxPax CEO Rick Geiger said.
Currently, the plant has two lines of production running one shift a day. As soon as possible, MaxPax plans to add two more lines and a second shift, Geiger said. They’ll hire about 80 people.
“We would really like to have those up and running by the end of October,” Geiger said. “We have the space, we just need more people.”
MaxPax has three manufacturing plants in Wisconsin, and is working to open one in the “four corners of the U.S.,” Geiger said. When Fill-Pac started selling its equipment and went up for sale, it was the perfect opportunity to expand to the Southeast, he said.
Negotiations to buy the company and lease the building started this summer, Geiger said.
“It’s been a fast-moving project,” he said.
MaxPax will take over packaging for some of Fill-Pac’s clients and has some clients already based in North Carolina, he said.
Beyond the initial expansion, MaxPax plans to move to 24/7 production next year. Over the next five years, MaxPax will add about 300 employees and invest $9.5 million in building renovations and machinery, according to a press release from the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.
In the future, MaxPax may be joined in Hickory by a sister company that specializes in food and pharmaceutical packaging. The company may operate out of the same building, which could be expanded, or in a different production plant in the area, Geiger said.
“Location matters when businesses look to expand their operations, and we’re pleased MaxPax has chosen Catawba County as the base for its eastern U.S. operations,” Randy Isenhower, chair of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, said in the EDC press release. “This fast-moving project will provide a variety of immediate job opportunities for our residents, bringing great growth potential to both MaxPax and our community.”
Geiger said MaxPax hopes to be an asset to the area.
“We’re really trying to be a part of the community,” he said.
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