E.K. Machine, a manufacturing company in Fall River, has opened doors to its new multi-million dollar expansion project.
The company held a ribbon cutting and tour of the new facility July 30. The 42,000-square-foot structure will serve as an extension for E.K. Machine’s Power Products division. Construction on the $4.6 million expansion began in November 2018 and employees started using the new building this week.
“In this facility, we’ll continue to produce industry-leading, high-quality generator enclosures that you have helped us make famous,” said Steve Slack, E.K. Machine Vice President of Operations.
Special guests for Tuesday’s unveiling included Wade Goodsell, executive director of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and State Assembly Representative Jon Plumer from Lodi.
E.K. Machine officials said the facility expansion will double its manufacturing output and will help facilitate future growth. The expansion is in response to an increased demand for the company’s power products line, produced at its west side plant. The power products division packages large-scale backup generators that are purchased by data centers, hospitals, oil fields and other facilities.
Slack said the impressive expansion shows the company’s rise in the past decade and more demand for its products.
“Power Products started with about one employee 12 years ago working in a shared office at our main plant on Main Street (in Fall River),” Slack said.
In 2014, E.K Machine expanded to a 53,000-square-foot building on the village’s west side. The new facility is an extension of that. Also that year, the company’s sales grew to more than $12 million. Slack expects E.K. Machine’s sales to reach $24 million by the end of the fiscal year in two months.
“This will position us to be even stronger in the global market in coming years,” Slack said. “The future is bright.”
E.K. Machine employs more than 190 workers through three shifts and expects to add about 20 more positions at the new facility. The positions will include work in fabrication and welding.
Spencer Dowdell, the company’s continuous improvement coordinator and CI program lead, said his family has a long history in the manufacturing industry. His family started E.K. Machine in 1970 in Columbus and the company relocated to Fall River in 1990. Through the years, the company has seen many changes and new faces.
“We’ve also had a ton of safety and engineering improvements,” Dowdell said. “That has positioned us to be a leader in the generator packaging industry.”
Dowdell thanked some of the key contributors to E.K. Machine’s success in recent years, including his father, Steve. Dowdell’s voice cracked with emotion as he shared how his father made sacrifices to ensure the company’s success.
“He has been the backbone of E.K. Power Products from the start,” Dowdell said. “He may not be your stereotypical supervisor, but he always puts the assembly team first and there are very few people who take more pride in what they do and what goes out that door than him.”
In addition, Dowdell praised Maas Brothers Construction from Watertown for constructing the addition.
“Days like today is great when we can celebrate expansion like this,” Goodsell said.
He said E.K. Machine won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s Manufacturer of the Year award in 2014. In 2016, the company began designing a trophy Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce presents to manufacturers for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.