Elwood lands manufacturing plant

A company that makes industrial drilling equipment is opening a facility in Elwood, Kan.

Pro-Dig LLC is bucking a trend by closing its manufacturing operation in China and building a $5 million production facility on 10 acres in Elwood. The privately held company, which also has operations in Europe and Lawrence, Kan., plans to finish construction of the Elwood building at the end of November and start production in January.

“We made a conscious decision that we wanted to build an American product,” said Mike Charlton, Pro-Dig’s president and chief executive officer. “There’s a number of benefits. The quality of our product is very good. We’re exporting to 25 countries.”

Pro-Dig makes hydraulic drive units for drilling equipment used in auger and screw-piling applications. Or as Mr. Charlton said: “drilling holes in the ground for construction.”

The company said it will make Elwood its world headquarters when the manufacturing site is completed. The company will employ 15 people in the first year and could expand to 20 in 2015. Mr. Charlton said Elwood’s central location and the quality of workers in the St. Joseph area factored into the company’s decision.

Property goes

on the block

More than 1,000 acres of land in Atchison County, Mo., will be auctioned on Nov. 12.

Associated Electric Cooperative has commissioned United Country — The O’Connor Agency of Cameron, Mo., to market and sell this property via live auction.

In March 1983, Associated Electric was in the process of acquiring land to construct a power plant on about 1,000 acres at Watson, Mo. The company said “the industry changed” as utilities turn more to natural gas for generating power.

Associated Electric has opted to offer the property to the public at a live auction event at 10 a.m. Nov. 12. The auction will be held at the Black Iron Grill at the corner of Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 136 in Rock Port, Mo.

Johnson Controls sees earnings rise

Johnson Controls reported a record fourth-quarter profit last week and predicted earnings would rise 30 percent in the next quarter.

The company, which is based in Milwaukee and has production and distribution facilities in St. Joseph, said its net income rose 25 percent to $657 million in the fourth quarter. Net revenues rose 6 percent, to $11 billion, from the same quarter last year.

The power solutions segment, including automotive battery facilities in St. Joseph, reported a 9 percent sales increase in the fourth quarter.

Unit shipments rose 5 percent for the quarter, with growth in original equipment in the United States, Europe and Asia offset by soft aftermarket demand in North America.

For the year, Johnson Controls’ income dropped to $1.2 billion, but the company predicts 30 percent earnings growth in the next quarter.

— News-Press reports

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