- people on the move
Foam products maker begins $1.5M expansion
A maker of craft and floral foam products has broken ground on a $1.5 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in the region.
Ludington-based FloraCraft said Jan. 16 it is adding a 27,000-square-foot shipping and distribution center to its 138,000-square-foot south manufacturing facility at 1 E. Longfellow Place in Ludington. The existing facility also will be renovated.
The expansion will represent a $1.5 million investment with an additional $1 million investment in automated packaging equipment for the facility.
FloraCraft expects the project will be completed by the end of the first quarter with production to begin shortly after that.
The move is intended to improve FloraCraft’s supply chain efficiencies, workflow management and packaging capabilities.
“Over the past decade, we have invested a significant amount of resources into our manufacturing process, adding more than 40 jobs along the way,” said Eric Erwin, president and CEO. “This new facility will allow us to meet the demands of our national customers while improving our processes as we continue to provide innovative, American-made goods to crafters and florists everywhere.
“This expansion is also part of our commitment to remaining independent right here in Ludington. We’re dedicated to ensuring we continue to invest in our community, which has been critical to our success over the past 75 years. We’re proud to be lakeshore business owners and residents and look forward to our next chapter in this new, modern space.”
The addition will feature a modern distribution center, eight shipping bays, new equipment and expanded packaging lines, as well as storage space for more than 1,350 pallet positions.
Muskegon-based Hughes Builders is the general contractor with other local Ludington contractors assisting on the project.
In designing the space, workflow and open sightlines were prioritized, allowing team members to see their teammates working around them and the product. Employee rest spaces also will be improved throughout the process.
FloraCraft will expand its robotics capabilities with the addition of a new robotic case packer as part of the expansion. The company stressed the new robotic equipment will not impact jobs but will offer expanded learning opportunities for team members.
“We will continue to partner with Westshore Community College to offer training to our team so they can advance their robotics skills,” COO Steve Carlson said.
“As we continue to increase our automation, we want to make sure our team grows in their skillsets, too. We are committed to building an innovative, world-class company with employees who have the opportunity to excel with us.”
Founded in 1946, FloraCraft is a family-owned manufacturer of foam products for the craft and floral industries.
Its family of brands includes FloraCraft Foam, Artesia, Desert Foam, Gala Boutique and Twinklets Glitter.
FloraCraft’s products are sold at Walmart, Amazon, Michaels, JOANN Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and other leading retailers in all 50 states and 17 countries.
The company has more than 200 employees.