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Happy to be in Hudson - Preco MPC showcases facility

From left, Matt Lackner, key account manager; Josh Butz, laser technician; and Chris Creighton, sales engineer, showcase products converted for packaging customers. Photo by Randy Hanson1 / 2
Jodi Cotten, who is an HHS grad, is director of operations for the Hudson facility. Behind her is the cleanroom where medical products are made. There's room in the facility to add another clean room or expand a current one. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl2 / 2

In 2011, Preco Inc. purchased the 20,000-square-foot former Eagle Packaging facility in St. Croix Business Park.

The firm chose Hudson after visiting over 20 sites just in the Twin Cities market and more than 30 regionally. Its Somerset facility was at capacity, running shifts and weekends, so expansion was necessary.

"We had a huge welcome from the community here," said Jodi Cotten, director of operations for Preco MPC - "Medical and Precision Converting."

"It is a family-oriented organization so that was important as well."

After the purchase, the company spent four months preparing the building. The first week of January 2012, the firm opened here and within 10 days, the Hudson facility was fully operational with 25 full-time employees and 15 to 17 part-time employees.

"We had a good plan and great people," said Cotten of the smooth transition. "The facility was almost like it was built for us. It is centrally located on the I-94 corridor, with the medical and life-science companies in the Twin Cities just minutes away."

"We are considered extremely handy," said Cotten. "Because we have lasers here we can do prototype services for our clients." That means they can save money and time developing their products.

Last week, Preco hosted a series of four open houses Wednesday-Friday. Employees, clients, sales representatives and local officials were invited.

The Hudson contract manufacturing facility offers laser processing and die cutting services for the medical, packaging and converting industries. With ISO certified clean rooms, both laser and die cutting capabilities, and close proximity to the Twin Cities, Preco will now be the go-to company for medical and packaging processing needs.

The new Hudson facility is the eighth Preco global location providing manufacturing solutions for customers in the medical, flexible packaging, electronics, energy, transportation/automotive and other general industries.

Preco has been offering laser systems and services from its Somerset location since 1978 and will continue to provide laser services, as well as manufacture laser systems for all industries worldwide. Preco's headquarters, located in Lenexa, Kansas, which is the manufacturing site for rotary and flat-bed die presses as well as lamination and screen printing systems.

Cotten is no stranger to Hudson, having graduated from Hudson High School in 1985. Her family moved here in 1970 and she now lives just a short distance from Preco's Hudson location.

As director of operations she is responsible for the successful operation of the facility. A graduate of UW-Stout, she has worked for Preco Inc. for seven years.

"The whole road was kind of leading me here," said Cotten of her return to the area. "I know everybody in the plant. When you are a part of a community and you know the people, it means everyday we are making good decisions to allow Preco clients success."

The Hudson facility is perfect for upcoming expansion when necessary. They can double their space easily. Eventually Preco expects to run shifts 24/7 out of the Hudson location.

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