Hwashin press assembly nears completion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Connection work on the stamping press continues at the Hwashin America Corporation at its construction site on U.S. Highway 31.

The press arrived in various shipments after traveling from Mobile Bay where it arrived from Korea.

Currently, the company connecting the press is Lynx Industrial Contractors, L.L.C based in Lexington, Ky.

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On Tuesday, the company’s president, Gerry Reeder, and project supervisor, Floyd Isaacs, took a few moments to discuss the company and what is happening.

&uot;All of the pieces are now in place for us to connect,&uot; Isaacs said.

&uot;We are 80 percent complete on getting the 2400 Komatsu up and running.&uot;

Lynx Industrial Contractors is a rigging company, specializing in press installation and maintenance.

The company is known in the industrial arena for its ability to move, install and repair machinery safely, correctly and on time.

Also on Tuesday, shipments began arriving from Korea of small try out presses that will be installed in addition to the large one.

Isaacs said their company is no stranger to the automotive industry and have recently worked on the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of America plant in Hope Hull, and spent a large part of the year before that working at the Honda plant in North Alabama.

Lynx will be in Greenville for at least another two months with an anticipated final meeting date of June 16.

&uot;We arrived on March 22 and began uncrating the press on March 23,&uot; Isaacs said standing inside the cavernous plant.

&uot;We have a crew of 15 and three supervisors working on this job.&uot;

Like all of the companies working on the job, Isaacs pointed out they have a firm belief in buying locally when working locally.

&uot;When we came into town, the first thing we do is scout the local hotels, campgrounds and restaurants so that we can use the local facilities before driving to a big city,&uot; he said.

&uot;Many of the tools we need and such we purchase at the local stores.&uot;

And for those who thought the metric system was long gone from the area, think again.

Isaacs said many would see an increase in metric needs with the influx of international companies.

&uot;I expect that local stores will see an increased demand for metric tools and such,&uot; he said.

&uot;It is a needed thing and if we would rather buy the stuff locally than have to drive to bigger cities like Montgomery or Mobile.&uot;

He said they plan on staying in the area until the plant is up and running.

&uot;We hope to eventually set up an office somewhere in the state to better serve our customers,&uot; he said.

When completed Hwashin is expected to employ 400 at its peak and have an annual payroll of $8 million.

However, Isaacs pointed out there is already an area in the existing plant for another press, as well as additional area if the company has to expand.

So far, all automotive companies in Alabama have seen expansion since they opened.

Hwashin will manufacture chassis and chassis parts in the 250,000 square foot facility that represents a $70 million investment.