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New Foxconn Plant in Kenosha Game Changer for Plastic Molders

February 28, 2018

Plastic injection molding companies throughout the region are licking their lips at the news of Foxconn’s decision to build a massive new manufacturing facility in Kenosha, WI.  The reason is simple: the new plant will require equally massive amounts of plastic digital device cases, TV housings and other plastic items to support their operation.  Because Foxconn isn’t in the business of producing plastic-injection molded electronic parts themselves, that could mean a bonanza for regional manufacturers.

Foxconn Sign
Foxconn Corporate HQ

Initial plans call for Taiwan-based Foxconn to construct a $10 billion, 22-million-square-foot complex  to manufacture large liquid crystal display panels. The firm could receive about $4 billion in tax breaks and grants from state and local government for the development if the company fulfills its part of the bargain — hiring up to 13,000 workers.  Many of those jobs will be high-paying positions in engineering and product design, experts say.

Although one Illinois plastic molding company is pulling up stakes and moving to Wisconsin, that may not be necessary:  many Northern Illinois manufacturers could stand to profit from the electronics behemoth if they practice smart production techniques and pay attention to other metrics, most importantly, quality. With a capital “Q.”

There are a few flies in the ointment, however:  A number of  foreign Foxconn suppliers — including some plastic parts manufacturers — are expected to eventually follow the company to Wisconsin, even as the company has estimated it will make $1.4 billion in annual supplier purchases in the state.  While the company’s agreement with the state of Wisconsin mandates some amount of in-state buying from existing Wisconsin companies, Foxconn is not required to hit any specific target which is worrisome to some observers.

With the Foxconn decision to build a giant new plant complex in this country, some are even predicting that the U.S. will once again be part of the electronics supply chain, something has hasn’t be true in over 40 years!




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