Source: Exacto Inc. news release

Exacto Inc. has increased its capacity to develop, manufacture and distribute adjuvant products that enhance chemicals used for crop protection, pest control and vegetation management through a move to larger quarters custom-designed for lean manufacturing and quality control.

Exacto, whose adjuvants and surfactants are sold by other companies under private labels, doubled its space by the recent move to a 50,000-square-foot facility in Sharon, Wis., from its original location about 20 miles southeast in Richmond, Ill.

"Exacto continues to be blessed by the confidence and support of our many customers, suppliers and employees, and I am pleased to announce this progressive step for our company," said Diana Braun, Exacto's president.

The company works in the wholesale market, creating and selling adjuvants and surfactants for its customers' private labels. Its customers market into agriculture, forestry, utilities and rights of way, highly managed turf, home and garden, range and pasture and vegetation management. Exacto says its products "improve the action of pesticides and other vegetation-control chemicals, and increase application efficiency."

Exacto has seen steady growth since it was founded in 1981 when it initially focused on formulas that enhance drift reduction properties of crop protection products. Its product lineup has expanded broadly since then, and its clients have come to rely on Exacto for its niche packaging capabilities, technical and scientific expertise in product development, in-house label design as well as its marketing expertise.

"We have added product lines, packaging capabilities, storage and blending capacities," Braun said. "As we have expanded, we have run into efficiency issues at Richmond. We have outgrown that facility, which we built and operated from for the last 17 years."

The move to Sharon brings operating efficiencies that will benefit Exacto's customers, and "will enhance the company's already highly successful quality control," the company said.

"Our new facility supports our vision of streamlined order processing and logistics," Braun said, noting Exacto's commitment to the principles of lean manufacturing. "The expanded space will allow systematic flow of materials throughout the order cycle, allowing Exacto to remain an industry leader in the areas of quality, flexibility and value to its customers."

The building gives Exacto twice the docking capacity of its former site. In addition, the Sharon facility has railroad service, which opens the door to improved efficiency for the purchase and sale of commodity materials, Braun said. Additional benefits include an onsite truck scale and significantly greater electrical service.

"Our business approach always has been that we must do everything we can to ensure the success of our customers, because we only succeed when they succeed," said Dave Langemo, marketing and sales development manager for Exacto.

Along with the efficiency gains from the interior layout, the company expects to benefit from the 30-plus acres of land around the building. Plans call for adding a greenhouse and for planting crops on some of the acreage.

Those enhancements would give Exacto even greater research capabilities, said Frank Sexton, technical services manager for Exacto.

"Often with new product developments, we utilize university research stations to determine which formulations and concepts stand out," Sexton said. "Now with this property, we will have an added dimension to that research, being able to evaluate our product ideas and narrow our scope before replicating with university research trials."