KNIGHTSVILLE -- IVC Industrial Coatings Inc., 2831 E. Industrial Park Drive, is growing, and that means more jobs for the community.
Plant manager Bud Beverly, informed a group of about 30 people at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday at Smokin' Charlie's Come 'N Get it Diner that the plant is currently operating at full capacity. He expects the workforce there to increase from 20 to about 90 employees once the plant acquires some new equipment in about a year.
Setting on 52 acres of land, there is plenty of room for expansion. IVC manufactures powder coatings for well-known electronics businesses, such as Sony, RCA and Zenith.
"If you noticed the gray coating on new TV sets, that's our product," Beverly said. "Ninety-five percent of office furniture material you see is ours as well."
The unique coating is also used on Christmas tree ornaments, cell phone face plates and auto light lenses. As he held up a bag of the powder produced at his plant, he boasted that 99 percent of the Sony market uses IVC powder coating.
"It's been quite an experience," he said, describing his feelings since moving to the Brazil plant from the Grand Haven, Mich. site. IVC has other operations in Indianapolis and Arizona and also has joint ventures in the UK and China.
"A lot of our product is used overseas," he explained. "Shipping is expensive, so the joint venture helps keep costs down."
The powder producing process requires powerful machinery. The mixture runs through 800-horsepower motor mixers and is then sent to a heat exchanger.
The first step to IVC's expansion will be in adding more powerful machinery, explained Beverly. The powder is then sent to customers in 40-pound boxes or 200-pound drums, who then bake the cooled powder onto their products in ovens at their own plants. The Brazil facility's current machinery runs between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds of the powder per hour and operates from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily.
The top-notch equipment the plant uses is imported from Germany. Beverly understands the facility ranks third in the world in design.
"We're basically number one in the country," he said.
The multi-million dollar equipment requires extensive one-on-one training for employees working the four lines at the plant.
Holding up several colorful sample panels for the audience to see, Beverly stressed the company's ability to manufacture a variety of powder colors and textures.
"We make the Home Depot orange, Hewlett Packard black and stove-top white," he said, mentioning they also do many other custom colors.
Beverly invited the community to tour the top-notch facility, noting that the white paint, office furniture and kitchen cupboards throughout the facility are all examples of their special coating.
"Things have worked out pretty well for us," Beverly said. "We have a pretty good group here."