Janesville plastics producer GOEX plans to build a second plant in Utah under an expansion that aims to help the company crack into the West Coast and Mexico markets.
GOEX President Josh Gray said the sheet-plastic manufacturer plans to remain based in Janesville, and it intends to continue to expand its 235,000-square-foot facility here.
But the company hopes to break ground early in 2020 on a new plant on a 20-acre industrial parcel in Cedar City, Utah.
Gray said markets GOEX serves in medical package thermoforming, food packaging and graphic arts printing continue to grow. He said most customers need plastic sheeting supplied in a few days.
“We’ve been looking for a location in the West for a couple years to participate in some markets where the distance from Wisconsin is too great,” he said. “We can’t really reach them from Wisconsin.
“We’ve identified a number of (West Coast) customers with whom we have business, and some are target accounts,” Gray said. “It’s really about speed to market for us. There’s been a logistic challenge of getting materials to Portland, Oregon, California or Mexico.”
Most raw materials travel by rail, and many of GOEX’s customers are “multi-site” businesses—that is, they might have operations in the Midwest and on both coasts.
“It is pretty critical in medical and food packaging. Having a redundant plant, so to speak, reinforces our ability to react should there be a natural disaster,” he said.
Gray said GOEX has the Utah parcel under contract. It hopes to have a 125,000-square-foot plastic production, clean room and distribution facility built and running by the end of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021.
The 20-acre site is privately owned, but Gray said Cedar City paid to run a Union Pacific rail spur to the site, which made it attractive. He said it has enough space for GOEX to expand, although the Utah facility initially won’t match the size and scope of the Janesville operation.
The company also plans to continue pursuing growth in the Midwest and in Janesville, where it has expanded clean room production and distribution.
“This is not an either/or situation,” Gray said. “It’s a both.”