WSI Industries, Inc. broke ground Monday on a 47,000 square-foot expansion at its Monticello facility that will double the company’s production capacity.
A backhoe operator briefly stopped working before the late afternoon ribbon-cutting attended by city and Monticello Chamber of Commerce representatives.
Angela Schumann, Monticello community development director, said the WSI project represented a $2.9 million expansion of new industrial space in the city.
WSI Industries, Inc. is a leading contract manufacturer that specializes in the machining of complex, high-precision parts for a wide range of industries,
The company announced the expansion Aug. 1, citing continued strong demand for its contract manufacturing services. The facility expansion will directly accommodate WSI’s future business growth. “This is the second expansion we’ve done,” said Benjamin Rashleger, president and chief executive officer.
In 2008, the company finished a 12,500 square-foot expansion. “Right now, we have 60,000 square feet, of which 45,000 square feet is production,” he said.
Rashleger said it wasn’t a question of if WSI was going to expand, but how big the project would become. The expansion will relieve employee overcrowding.
The 47,000 square-foot expansion will be ready next spring, Rashleger said. “Our top two industries served are recreational products and energy,” he added.
WSI opened its doors in 1950, serving as a contract manufacturer for industries booming in the wake of World War II, such as aerospace and communications.
In 1958, under the company name Washington Scientific Industries, WSI became a publicly held company and is currently traded on the NASDAQ exchange
According to an Aug. 1 company news release, funding for the expansion will come from available cash and debt. WSI anticipates that the construction work will have a minimal impact on its current manufacturing processes. In the same Aug. 1 release, Rashleger stated during the past quarter, WSI had achieved a decade high sales level, exceeding the previous year’s quarter by 45 percent. Over the past three fiscal years, WSI has experienced increasing sales with growth from $18.8 million in fiscal 2010 to $25 million in fiscal 2011. The company’s current fiscal year ended Aug. 26. Rashleger anticipated the company’s growth would continue and exceed $31 million in sales. At the same time, the company’s employee count increased from 54 employees in 2009 to its current count of 91 employees.
“With the success we’ve had in diversifying our business with new customers and markets, as well as our current customers’ increasing demands, we have begun to stretch the capacity of our current facility,” Rashleger stated in the release. “This addition doubles our manufacturing space and capacity, and gives us substantial room for continued business growth of our business with current and new customers. This expansion illustrates the confidence we have in our customers and their future success, as well as our ability to attract and obtain new business in the contract manufacturing market.”
Plymouth-based Construction Results Corp. is serving as general contractor for the 47,000 square-foot WSI expansion located at 213 Chelsea Road.