Fender bender: Fleet Engineers’ $2M expansion brings plastics in-house | Business
By Joe Boomgaard | MiBiz
MUSKEGON — A laser-like focus on controlling both cost and quality led to one local transportation industry supplier expanding into new capabilities and bringing previously outsourced production to its West Michigan operations.
Fleet Engineers Inc. at the end of June started production at its new plastic injection molding line inside a 10,500-square-foot addition to its campus in Muskegon. The expansion allows what had traditionally been a metal-based company to bring in-house the production of plastic truck fenders, which had previously been outsourced to firms in Detroit and Australia, said Wes Eklund, president of Fleet Engineers.
“We’ve been busy working our way into plastic truck fenders since 1993,” Eklund said. “We’ve been building our own product line over the last seven years with the goal of being able to produce our own product, and we finally reached the critical mass where we had enough volume and enough products to justify the payback of getting into our own equipment.”
The $2 million expansion was Fleet Engineers second such project in as many years — the company completed a $1.1 million expansion in 2010 — and the company also purchased additional nearby space should it need to grow even more.