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‘You make mistakes, people die’: DeForest’s Evco Plastics expands medical manufacturing unit | Madison Wisconsin Business News

DeFOREST — You won’t see Evco Plastics’ name on a product label on your store shelves, but the DeForest company is a contract manufacturer whose components are part of a wide range of products, from Sub-Zero’s specialty refrigerators to John Deere tractors.

The family-owned company is building a $6 million, 50,000-square-foot addition onto one of its three buildings in DeForest, about 15 miles north of Madison, and plans to add about 70 jobs over the next few years.

The addition will more than double the size of Evco’s medical manufacturing plant, currently at 34,000 square feet, to ramp up capacity for making medical devices and parts.

“We’re going to get a little bigger so we can make bigger things,” Evco president Dale Evans said. “We hope to triple the amount of work we get.”

Evco has nine factories with a combined 750,000 square feet of space. In addition to the three in DeForest — they have a total of 150,000 square feet — the others are in Oshkosh; Calhoun, Georgia; China; and three in Mexico.

The company has 1,200 employees worldwide, including about 250 in DeForest.

Plastics make up a significant portion of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry. In 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available, Wisconsin produced $57 billion worth of manufactured goods and $2.8 billion, or 4.9 percent, were in the plastics and rubber industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Wisconsin ranked eighth among the states for jobs in plastics manufacturing in 2015, with 39,800 jobs, a report by the Plastics Industry Association said. It was No. 4 in the number of plastics jobs per 1,000 non-farm employees, behind Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, the report said.

Evco has been a growing part of Wisconsin’s plastics industry for more than 50 years.

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