From left to right: Rapid staff members Dan Boll, Bengt Rimark, Ulf Karlsson, and Jim Hoffman open the new Pittsburgh facility. Image courtesy of Rapid Granulator.

A new manufacturing facility promises to bring more jobs to the Pittsburgh region thanks to the Swedish company, Rapid Granulator.

The Bredaryd, Sweden-based company made a multi-million dollar investment to establish a new facility in Leetsdale, PA. Set up in an existing industrial park building, the 65,000-square-foot plant will manufacture equipment used for granulating and shredding plastics. It will also include a 3,500-square-foot showroom, warehouse space and offices.

The company has yet to determine how many jobs the plant will provide.

Founded in 1942, Rapid produces machines and systems that are used for granulating plastic scrap and recycling post-consumer and post-industrial waste. The company was acquired two years ago by the Swedish company Lifco as part of a group of more than 100 companies in 28 counties.

In an official statement, Jim Hoffman, vice president of sales and marketing at Rapid Granulator, said the new plant shows their renewed focus on doing all their U.S. dealings in-house. The company started outsourcing U.S. production in 2008 when they became part of the International Plastics Equipment Group (IPEG) and moved their manufacturing from Illinois to facilities in Pennsylvania.

“This is an extremely important move for Rapid,” says Hoffman. “In the near future, we will have full control over U.S. production, just like we have in Sweden and just like we had here in the past. It is really important for us to have the responsibility for the quality and reliability of our equipment in our own hands.”

He adds that the plant will also help them expand sales in the North American market.

“We are the market leader, and 2016 was a record year for us here, just as it was globally,” he said. “But we are very ambitious. The North American market right now is healthy and growing, but we want to grow even faster.”

Production at the Leetsdale plant is set to begin in December 2017.

Amanda Waltz

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated...