Posted: 5:56 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

Troy manufacturer launches $2.8M expansion

By Thomas Gnau

Staff Writer

Troy —

A Troy manufacturer has embarked on a $2.8 million expansion and is looking to lease or build a new home.

Warren Davidson, owner of West Troy Tool, has invested in three Toshiba injection molding machines to produce plastic parts for the filtration industry, with the help of help of a $2.3 million Ohio-backed bond and a PNC bank loan.

“Ultimately, we’re funding all of it,” said Davidson, a U.S. Military Academy graduate who owns Yasotay, the manufacturing investment company that owns West Troy Tool. “None of this is a grant.”

This spring, West Troy acquired the assets of an out-of-state company — Davidson would not identify the company — to begin to beef up its injection molding capabilities. West Troy has 55 employees today — up from 40 recently — and expects to hire up to 30 more, Davidson said.

State Rep. Richard Adams, R-Troy, who visited the company Monday, said it’s his understanding that West Troy will bring work to Troy from Japan. “I think you and your associates need to be congratulated,” Adams told Davidson.

But to truly realize his planned expansion, Davidson and company president Jeff Hunter said West Troy needs a new home, Company principals had considered leaving Ohio because so many of its sales are outside the Buckeye State. In 2010, less than 40 percent of West Troy’s sales were in Ohio, down from 90 percent in 2000.

But the recent bond agreement with JobsOhio, the state’s public-private development arm, means the company will remain in Ohio, and Davidson said he hopes the company remains in Troy as well. Twice the company has found new sites in Troy, but West Troy was “bumped off” by bigger companies, Davidson said.

The help of JobsOhio and PNC was crucial to the expansion, Davidson said. “For small companies, issuing bonds is difficult,” he said.

Davidson would not give precise revenue figures, but he said West Troy’s sales grew 15 percent in 2011 over 2010, and he expects sales to grow 30 percent this year.

Davidson’s father, Earl, started West Troy in 1987. The company has been in its current home — which has been expanded to 47,000 square feet — since the 1990s.

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