Construction continues on an expansion project at Magnode Thursday, Jan. 18 in Trenton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

It’s already been a big month for this 70-year-old Butler County company, and a $13M expansion is coming

The expansion of aluminum extruder Magnode at 400 E. State St. in Trenton revolves around a new 45,000-square-foot building and is centered on a new 3,300-ton extrusion press line designed by UBE, a Japanese manufacturer of extrusion presses, according Martin Bidwell, Magnode’s president and CEO.

The building and press line will be commissioned on Feb. 28, Bidwell said. Total cost of the expansion is $13 million.

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Magnode, which was founded in 1947, has an annual sales revenue of $75 million, he said. The expansion will add 50 new jobs to Butler County.

James Foster, Trenton’s economic development director, told this media outlet that city officials are “extremely pleased” with Magnode’s additional investment in the community and the increased employment that will accompany it.

“We feel that the additional investment ensures that there’s going to be a long-term presence here of the Magnode Corporation,” he said. “They have been excellent corporate citizens for decades in the city of Trenton and we’re just happy they’ve made a commitment here.

“All of us associated with economic development in Trenton and Butler County and in the state are very, very happy that they’ve made this commitment.”

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The new facility isn’t the only big news in 2018 for Magnode, the city’s largest private company.

Last week, Shape Corp. announced it had reached terms to buy the Butler County aluminum extruder. Those terms were not identified.

The deal comes after a successful business relationship between the two companies that included collaboration on engineering projects, as well as shared research and development around light-weighting best practices, Shape said in the release.

The Grand Haven, Mich.-based company said it was drawn by Magnode’s more than 70 years of aluminum extrusion experience. Magnode will operate as a division of Shape.

Shape is a global full-service, tier-one automotive supplier focused on lightweight solutions in metallics, composites, plastics and hybrid solutions. It focuses on energy management systems and body structures.

“The Magnode purchase expands Shape’s lightweight product and process portfolio beyond ultra-high strength steel roll forming, thermoplastic injection molding and composite pultrusion,” the company said in a release.

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Magnode has 200 salaried and hourly employees at its Trenton facility, and Bidwell said company officials believe the number will only increase as it penetrates the global market with aluminum solutions.

“Shape Corp. has centered on Trenton, Ohio manufacturing to be the center of their aluminum global expertise,” Bidwell told this media outlet. “As the company begins to market globally, we expect growth in the Trenton, Ohio facility. The jobs present and future will be necessary to accomplish this task.”

The acquisition will not affect the new building, which Bidwell said is “the cornerstone of the Shape/Magnode center for global aluminum expertise,” Bidwell said.

Shape President Mark White said Magnode is “the perfect addition.”

“Our company cultures align extremely well,” White said in a statement. “We both have a passion for innovation, engineering and customer service.”

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Shape said a team composed of employees from both businesses will work on continuing “normal operations” under current leadership. The acquisition will close in early March after all transaction terms are complete.

“This acquisition allows Magnode to dream freely again, while imagining what we can become as we integrate into a larger world model,” Bidwell said in the same statement. “I am very excited that the Magnode brand will continue for many years after I am gone..”

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