Ind. Startup Material Supplier Eyeing Growth
From the exterior, the modest industrial building on County Road 6 in Elkhart, Ind., looks like so many others along that stretch of road: yet another place where Elkhart’s entrepreneurial spirit has caught fire and put people to work.
But inside, Chris Welch and his two partners have quietly been gearing up for what they think could be a big splash in the local economy.
According to a report by the Elkhart Truth, Welformed Materials incorporated in July and took occupancy of the building in October. In between that time, they started acquiring equipment. Production started in January and is steadily increasing, Welch said.
Welformed will make two product lines: three-dimensional fabric-faced products, and sheets of a polyester-based material it is calling “plyfelt.” It will make molded products for local customers in the recreational vehicle, bus, utility truck and boat manufacturing industries. Utilimaster Corp. is one of its first customers.
It also has sights set on the office furniture market because of their ability to easily adhere the ply-felt to both sides of hard surfaces, such as the partitions in office cubicles. Grand Rapids, Mich., where a lot of office furniture is made, will be a big market for those products, Welch said.
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