Rexair plans $3.35 million facility expansion and move production line from Asia to Cadillac | news


CADILLAC – “If you’re smart as a company, you need to get things back on land.”

That’s how Mark Howie, Rexair’s vice president of operations, summarized the latest news about a facility expansion and the return of an overseas production line.

Due to overseas supply chain disruptions, the company is in the process of bringing manufacturing of certain products back to its Cadillac facility on 7th Street and is also installing nine new injection molding machines.

According to a press release from the office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3.35 million, supported by a $48,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant funded by Michigan Economic Development Corporation is managed. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing location in Kentucky.

The project is expected to create nine new jobs and preserve eight jobs.

“Additionally, the project will establish the Company’s presence and future investments in Michigan,” the state press release said. “Rexair is focused on green manufacturing and the new machines will reduce their power consumption by up to 60%.”

Founded in 1936, Rexair is a leading direct seller and manufacturer of premium home vacuum cleaning systems. The company’s flagship product, the Rainbow vacuum cleaner, is sold in countries around the world through a network of third-party dealers. Rexair is headquartered in Troy and currently employs 228 people in Michigan.

Rexair Environmental Health and Safety Administrator Jeff Nerem said the first two injection molding machines will arrive in August and November, followed by three more in 2023 and the final machines arriving in 2024.

Up until the 1970s, Nerem said the Rainbow vacuums were made out of metal parts. Nowadays they are made from plastic parts that are made with injection molding machines.

Nerem said the facility’s current molding machines are about 30 years old and were made by a company that no longer exists. The new machines are powered purely electrically, while the old machines are powered both electrically and hydraulically.

The decision to bring production lines back to the US from Asia was made in light of the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made sourcing some materials more difficult and much more expensive.

“This will be a significant saving for us,” said Nerem, who added that the move will also give the company more control over the logistics of its operations and product issuance.

“We should start seeing benefits from this in five to six months,” Nerem said. “Rexair is pleased to be working with MEDC and the City of Cadillac in our joint efforts to advance Michigan’s economy and employment opportunities. This is truly a team effort to invest in the future of all of us.”

Howie commented that Cadillac is Rexair’s home and the expansion further cements the company’s future here.

“It’s good for us and it’s good for the local community,” said Howie, adding that more investment in the US will also help other domestic companies, including the one that makes the molding machines.

“It has a multiplier effect,” Howie said.

The City of Cadillac plans to assist Rexair with permitting and other requirements.

“I am thrilled to learn of Rexair’s continued commitment to reinvest in their Cadillac facility and it is truly wonderful to see how the collaboration between the MEDC and the city has resulted in such a positive outcome,” said Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia. “The new job creation coupled with nearly $1.4 million in capital investments will result in greater local sustainability for the Rexair facility and additional employment opportunities and is another great example of Cadillac’s viability as a location for economic development activities . A big thank you to Rexair and MEDC for this investment in the city of Cadillac.”

On Monday Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined MEDC to announce the expansion of Rexair and an expansion of American Recreational Products’ facility in Fenton. In total, the projects are expected to create 68 new jobs and generate a total private investment of US$7.7 million.

“Today’s investments by American Recreational Products and Rexair will create a total of 68 high-paying jobs for Michiganans as we continue to grow Michigan’s economy and invest in all regions of the state,” Whitmer said. “With jobs growing every day, unemployment at a record low, small business growth strong and wages rising, our economy is on the move. I will continue to focus on the fundamentals that matter most to working families and communities while ensuring Michigan leads in key industries like manufacturing. Our state is competing more aggressively than ever to bring more jobs and investment to Michigan to keep our economy growing.”

“American Recreational Products and Rexair’s decisions to expand in Michigan underscore the continued strength of Michigan’s value proposition: a talented workforce, diverse industries and a business environment geared for long-term economic growth,” said Quentin Messer Jr., MEDC CEO and President and Chairman of the MSF board. “These projects are representative of our holistic, people-centric approach to economic development that rewards risk-takers while further securing Michigan’s leadership in the industries that will propel our economy into the future and benefit more Michigan citizens.”

American Recreational Products is a subsidiary of Northern Composites, a manufacturer of composites and plastics for John Deere, Navistar, Crest Marine, Avalon Pontoons and more. American Recreational Products’ facility in Owosso has reached capacity and there are no options for expansion. The Company has located an existing facility in the town of Fenton that can accommodate both its existing business and a new fiber optic product line.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4 million and create 59 jobs, supported by a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was selected for the project over competing locations in Minnesota and Missouri.


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