Swedish manufacturer to expand in Conover

A Swedish manufacturer of fiber-optic reels for spooling equipment in the cable industry will invest $11 million in a new manufacturing plant in Conover, Catawba County economic development officials announced Tuesday.

Axjo America has been in Hickory since 2011 but has outgrown its plant there. The company plans to purchase an existing 143,268-square-foot plant in Conover and add machinery and equipment to increase its product offerings. The company will add 14 jobs.

Axjo uses mainly recycled materials and the latest injection molding technology to produce its reels.

In 2010, Conover had more than 2 million square feet of empty industrial buildings. All have since been filled, Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. said.

Axjo America is a subsidiary of Axjo AB, which has been in business since 1945 and is a leading supplier of plastic spools in Europe.

“The fiber optics and cable industry has been a mainstay of our economy for many years, and Axjo’s success as a supplier to that industry is a testament to the continued strength of the sector in Catawba County,” Randy Isenhower, chairman of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement announcing the company’s planned expansion.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak