A year after officially announcing the intention to consolidate production of water-based inks, INX International Ink Co. recently opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Homewood, a southern suburb of Chicago.
A larger facility than the ones INX closed in Kalamazoo, MI and in nearby Elk Grove earlier this year, Homewood offers 80,000 square-feet of space and an interesting slice of history to go with its address at 1000 Maple Drive in the Prairie Landing Business Park. This site once attracted national attention as a Chicago sports landmark. It is built on the grounds that housed the clubhouse and grandstand of Washington Park Race Track, which closed after a fire in 1977 and never reopened.
“Our new facility is very impressive and large enough to meet our production and sales goals,” said Jim Kochanny, director of liquid operations, at the Homewood facility. “It’s an exciting opportunity with many advantages, including the ability to better serve our customers and easy access. We are only two minutes from the Halsted Sreet ramp off Interstate 94.”
The projected capacity of inks and coatings is 90 million pounds in the first year of operation. After some shifting at the Dunkirk, NY plant and the transfer of water production from the Mason Avenue facility in Chicago, INX International’s development of all of its water-based products will be in Homewood. The Mason Avenue plant will remain open as a solvent-only facility and will complement the company’s solvent operation in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The new building has more than just location going for it. It projects a bright openness and may remind visitors of the company’s Research & Development facility in nearby West Chicago, with its tall ceilings and plenty of natural light filtered throughout. Mr. Kochanny said it will afford INX the opportunity to create and commercialize new and advanced ink systems for water-based inks and coatings. There is also room for future expansion.
“This is a wonderful facility and it shows our total commitment to the industry, our customers and our employees,” commented Rick Clendenning, president and CEO of INX.
“The reality of the opening of our Homewood plant was very rewarding after several years of planning and fabricating,” said George Polasik Sr., vice president and COO. “We should be proud of the investment in our Homewood plant with all of its automation and state-of-the-art equipment. It also shows our commitment as a company to the water ink side and our future growth in this area.”