Hinspergers Poly Industries keeps growing in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Chamber Business of the Year

Photos by Tom Rivers  – Greg Budd, general manager of the Hinspergers Poly Industries plant in Medina, stands by some of the solar blankets the company sells for swimming pools. Budd has been general manager of Hinspergers since the company came to Medina in 2002.

MEDINA – In 2002, a Canadian-based company bought the former Jamestown Container manufacturing building on West Oak Orchard Street.

Peter Hinsperger, owner of Hinspergers Poly Industries, was looking for an American location for the business. He looked at several sites from Wisconsin to West Virginia and settled on the spot in Medina.

Hinsperger prefers small towns. He grew up in a small town in southern Ontario.

“He likes giving people an opportunity, by giving them a paycheck,” said Greg Budd, general manager of the Hinspergers plant in Medina.

The Hinspergers plant has twice been expanded since the company moved to Medina in 2002. The building has gone from 25,000 square feet in 2002 to 83,000 square feet since the last addition in 2008.

Budd was the first hire for Hinspergers in 2002. The company was up to 17 employees in 2003, and 10 of them remain with the company today.

After two expansions of the facility and steady sales growth, Hinspergers now employs 70 in Medina. The company has been named the “Business of the Year” for 2015 by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.
Hinspergers is part of the “Canadian Cluster” in Orleans County. Other companies with Canadian headquarters include Brunner in Medina, Freeze-Dry in Albion and the newly opened BoMet Recovery in Albion. (Pride Pak also is looking to build a new vegetable processing plant in Medina.)

Greg Budd is pictured inside Hinspergers, where he said the big production space with wide walls works well for manufacturing pool covers.

Peter Hinsperger, company owner, not only likes small towns. Budd said the Orleans Economic Development Agency put together an attractive incentive package for the company.

The former Jamestown Container site also had wide enough production rooms for the company to produce custom-made pool covers that can spread out beyond 40 feet.

The plant has been expanded twice since 2002, going from 25,000 square feet then to 83,000 square feet since the last expansion in 2008.

Ken Mulcahy runs a machine that cuts covers, one of the steps at Hinspergers for creating pool covers. The company manufactures about 50 pool covers a day in Medina.

Because swimming pools vary so much in size and shape, Hinspergers has a C.A.D. team that will uniquely design the specifications for each pool cover. Each cover made in Medina since 2002 has its own serial number.

The company can look up that serial number for the specifications if a new cover is ordered for the same pool. A new cover will include tie-down straps in the same location as the old cover.

The serial number also allows the company to trace the cover through the sales and distribution process.

The range of sizes has “China proofed” the business for Hinspergers, Budd said. The covers can’t easily be mass produced by China.

Hinspergers also has two sites in Canada. It prides itself on a quick turnaround time for the custom orders, another reality that would be hard to beat by manufacturers in China, Budd said.

Kim Rutan sews the outside edge of a pool cover. She has worked at Hinspergers for 12 years. “It’s a nice clean place,” she said. “There’s not a lot of people so we all get to know each other.”

For a manufacturing site in its busy season, Hinspergers is relatviely quiet. The whir of sewing machines is one of the loudest noises.

Budd gives tours of the plant to distirbutors and local service clubs. They all comment how clean the floor is, and how there aren’t banging noises or smells of melting metal or rubber.

Budd walks the floor and he greets many of the employees by first name.

Hinspergers employees spread out a pool cover and check for any imperfections.

“It’s a nice clean, bright and airy environment,” he said.

The pool covers can be made in several colors. Hinspergers uses woven and extrusion coated polyethylene, which has tremendous strength, reduced weight, a range of colors and relatively low prices.

The mesh material allows some water or snow to drip through. Hinspergers has covers with a tighter mesh that blocks out debris and sunlight, reducing algae growth.

For customers in the South, Hinspergers’ pool covers tend to be solid because they don’t have to worry about letting some melting snow seep through. Those covers may have some smaller mesh patterns to let through water in some spots.

Greg Budd discusses production with Scott Galley, the plant supervisor and an employee since 2003.

Hinspergers made a big investment in Medina in 2008 when it put on a 33,000-square-foot addition and also added a 14-by-70-foot machine that makes the solar blankets for swimming pools.

The pool covers, however, remain the core business for the Medina plant, and Budd said the company has made them “in thousands of shapes and sizes.”

Hinspergers has been honored by the Chamber before. In 2003, the company was named “New Business of the Year.”

It will receive the “Business of the Year” award during a banquet Friday at Tillman’s Village Inn.