Chicago, Illinois — German PU, TPU and PVC wire and cable maker Helukabel has invested over $38 m to increase its global presence in 2017, and broke ground for a new Helukabel USA headquarters in a Chicago suburb.
The firm broke ground for its new 7000 m2 (75,000-sq ft) HQ building in West Dundee, Illinois on 9 November 2017.
In separate moves, the firm has expanded manufacturing in Windsbach, Germany, and recently opened subsidiaries in both Mexico and Brazil.
Helukabel's new US headquarters represents an $8 million investment with room to expand beyond the sites's 18,580 m2 if future growth dictates. The site will open with about 20 full-time employees. A company spokesman said via email the firm had outgrown its previous 4180 m2 headquarters in nearby Elgin,Illinois.
The building will have state-of-the-art energy efficiency systems in place. The spokesman added that the firm will be able to increase operational efficiency with improved workflow as well as a dedicated spooling rack space for high-volume items.
Helukabel also wanted a location that wasn't too far from its current site. The new facility is about five miles from Elgin.
'It was important to find a property in close geographic proximity to our current location to maintain our existing employee base,' Helukabel USA President Markus Dannheim said in a statement. 'Our employees and the relationships they have created with customers around the world are a fundamental key factor for the continued success our company has experienced. It was important for us to have immediate interstate access to minimize lead-times.'
Helukabel invested over $30 m on its building and manufacturing equipment in Windsbach, Germany. The project was completed early in 2017 and added about 9000 m2 to the existing 40,000 m2 site which employs 160.
Windsbach makes standard items as well as custom and application-specific cables and wires that typically withstand extreme chemical, electric and mechanical stress.
'The new engineering center is equipped with six drag-chain test facilities that will allow us to check if our products are ready for series production and further their development in a realistic environment,' he said.
The site's new engineering centre houses additional test and inspection equipment for moving applications as well as for extreme climate zones. The spokesman said a significant amount has been invested throughout Helukabel's footprint in restructuring and commissioning existing machines, part of a three-year plan to increase production capacity and optimise material handling.
The firm also opened its 27th and 28th subsidiaries earlier in 2017, in Mexico and Brazil, marking the first such locations in each country. The combined investment for both sites exceeded $250,000.
Helukabel Managing Director Mark Luksch said the firm is seeing rising demand for its products in Central and South America.
The Queretaro facility, northwest of Mexico city consists of an 800 m2 warehouse and staff of eight which supplies customers in the automotive and food and beverage industries, the firm said.
The Brazilian site in Valinhos, Sao Paulo, and spans about 1000 m2 with a 700 m2 warehouse. The site employs five.
The spokesman said many of the firm's largest international customers have been active in Brazil for many years and, despite the current economic downturn, Helukabel is committed to the country for the long term and sees rising demand for its products in both Central and South America.
Reporting by Chris Sweeney, Plastics News.