Raynor opens new manufacturing and distribution facility

New plant is located on about 55 acres in the Lee County Business Park

Ray Neisewander III, chairman and CEO of Raynor Worldwide, speaks during the Sept 9 grand opening celebration in Dixon.

DIXON – A little more than a year after buying the former 575,000-square-foot Rayovac battery distribution center, Raynor Garage Doors has opened its new “cutting-edge manufacturing and distribution facility” at 200 E. Corporate Drive.

The new plant, located on about 55 acres in the Lee County Business Park, brings the total to six – and about 1 million square feet of space – that Raynor operates from its main headquarters at 1101 E. River Road. All told, it employs about 500 people, including both office and production staff.

The expansion was needed to increase the company’s warehouse and production capacity to meet the growing demands the manufacturer is seeing, said Brittany Shannon, vice president of marketing at Raynor who is a fourth-generation member of the family business.

The new location also is close to Interstate 88, making it convenient not only for receiving shipments of raw materials but also for sending out shipments of finished garage doors.

The economic disruption that COVID-19 brought benefited Raynor somewhat, as more families put their money into home improvement projects.

“We’re struggling to keep up with demand, which is good news for us,” Shannon said. “We still are feeling a pretty strong demand. ... We feel like we’re poised for some really good growth in the future.”

Several new garage door lines are planned, production of which should go smoothly now that the post-pandemic problems of getting parts and materials are easing.

“We still fight the supply chain battles every day, but compared to where we were, we are in much better shape,” Shannon said.

The increase in production means the company also is hiring – always, Shannon said.

“We can never fill all our openings. We were hiring, we are hiring, we will be hiring,” she said with a laugh.

The company was founded in 1946, and there have been multiple expansions at the original Plant One, Raynor’s main headquarters.

The other buildings were added over the years as needed, with the last one added back in the 1990s, so the new campus on Corporate Drive represents the company’s biggest expansion in about 25 years, Shannon said.

On Sept. 9, Raynor held a grand opening of the new plant, which was attended by more than 500 people, including Dixon Mayor Glen Hughes and City Manager Danny Langloss.

Ray Neisewander III, who represents the third generation of family ownership, also was celebrated for his 40th anniversary with the company.

Energizer began closing down its Dixon Rayovac battery distribution facility and laying off 125 workers in 2020. It finally was vacated at the end of 2021. Raynor bought the warehouse, which was built in 2003, for $42.25 million that September, Lee County property records show.

It’s a good year for family-owned businesses in Dixon.

Bonnell Industries broke ground Aug. 30 on its own $10.7 million expansion, also in the Lee County Business Park, where a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be built on about 9 acres off East Progress Drive, next to Nicor at 320 E. Progress and not far from Raynor’s new facility.

The expansion is expected to be completed by July and will create 16 new full-time jobs, Bonnell said. The company was founded in 1960; its three generations of Bonnells oversee the manufacture and distribution of snowplows and spreaders, leaf blowers, multipurpose truck bodies, and road maintenance equipment.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.