To further enhance efficiency, Hearthside Food Solutions is investing millions of dollars in new equipment and technology. In Grand Rapids, MI, and its suburb of Kentwood, where four of Hearthside’s 12 plants are located, the company plans to spend $17.4 million that will create 195 jobs the first year and eventually a total of 302 new positions over the next five years.
Specifically, Hearthside is adding a second smaller, more versatile bar line that will increase bar capacity in the H-4 plant by 30% and allow it to produce shorter runs on a more profitable and efficient basis. The company is also adding a mega-bar line in its H-1 facility, said Dave Adler, plant manager of the H-1 and H-4 plants. Overall bar capacity should increase from its current 1.8 billion annually up to 2.5 billion bars a year after the two new lines are installed.
Additionally, the company will invest $3.8 million to build a 24,000-sq-ft addition to its Michigan City, IN, plant to add new snack cake and cookie baking lines.
Deciding where to invest often depends on customer demand, as well as how the company can better integrate itself to its customers, according to Brian McNamara, vice-president, sales and marketing. Read More on the Subject: Hearthside Food Solutions: A Class of its Own Filling up the Pipeline Putting the Pieces Together Victim of its Success Food Safety First