Above: The grand opening celebration of Superior Boiler's new manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Kansas this month (photo courtesy of Superior Boiler)
September was a busy month for manufacturing with a number of new facilities and expansions announced. This month, cutting edge enterprises dominated headlines, with announcements made in the EV, solar, semiconductor, biotech and defense industries. Meanwhile, three new packaging facilities point to soaring demand in the industry, while other new projects spanned multiple industries, from transformers to boilers to high-tech logistics.
Let’s explore some of the most exciting new manufacturing companies announced this month.
In EV news, Wallbox, a global provider of electric vehicle charging solutions, announced plans to establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Arlington, Texas as the electric vehicle market continues to heat up. This adds to two existing facilities in Europe and one in China. The new high-tech facility will encompass 130,000 square feet and is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area when production begins in June 2022.
“The U.S. automotive and energy markets are at an inflection point. Automotive electrification will accelerate significantly due to initiatives aimed at meeting aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets, which will significantly increase the demand for our EV charging and energy management solutions,” said Enric Asunción, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wallbox.
Meanwhile, oncology company Umoja Biopharma broke ground on a new, 146,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Louisville, Colorado.
Umoja Biopharma has developed an integrated technology to reprogram immune cells in vivo in order to create advanced immunotherapies for cancer.
And in a nod to the current semiconductor shortage, Lam Research announced plans to establish a new semiconductor equipment manufacturing plant in Oregon. Encompassing 45,000 square-feet, the new facility will open in December 2021 in an effort to supply chipmakers as they ramp up production in response to soaring global demand. Located in the town of Sherwood, the new facility will exist as the company’s fifth manufacturing plant in the U.S. and will bring 300 new jobs to the area.
“We are building the manufacturing workforce of the future—from our comprehensive training program and next-generation manufacturing techniques, to our agile and collaborative work environment,” said Tim Archer, president and CEO of Lam Research. “As we continue to expand our manufacturing operations, we are pleased to open a second facility in Oregon. We appreciate the productive partnership with the city of Sherwood and look forward to being an active member of their business community.”
Finally, as demand for solar module products continues to climb, Silhab Solar announced it has doubled its U.S. solar manufacturing capacity with the addition of a third North American facility in Burlington, Washington. The new location leverages the latest in solar manufacturing machinery and produces panels with the most advanced cell configurations.
In keeping with the current soaring demand for packaging services, September brought us three new packaging announcements, starting with JBM Packaging, which opened a new location in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio on August 31st
JBM is a manufacturer of eco-friendly, flexible packaging solutions. The new plant will expand its manufacturing capabilities, as well as contract packaging services, including bagging, cartoning, assembly, kitting and filling. The new facility aims to hire 30 employees over the next 18 months.
In Wisconsin, Neway Packaging announced plans to expand it DePere facility. Keller, Inc. has been chosen as the architect and general contractor on the new 28,870 sq. ft. pre-engineered metal building warehouse addition project.
Meanwhile, Evanesce, a designer and manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions based in British Columbia, announced it has opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Hampton County, South Carolina. The new plant represents an investment of $17 million, with plans to hire 78 workers.
Said Douglas Horne, CEO of Evanesce: “Taking a step further in reinventing sustainable packaging technology, we are pleased to announce the opening of our first U.S. manufacturing facility in Hampton County. We are excited to reach this crucial milestone of our growth plan, and this could not have been possible without the support of the South Carolina state officials. South Carolina is ripe for industrial disruption and our investment in Hampton County is further validation for the wave of new development that the community is set to experience.
The new plant will produce millions of PLA certified compostable straws per day.
Next up, boiler manufacturer Superior Boiler, announced September 2nd the grand opening celebration of its third manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The new facility will accommodate the company’s watertube division, which was recently relocated from Virginia. Encompassing 75,000 square-feet, the new state-of-the-art facility aims to manufacturer its first watertube boilers by the end of September.
“By relocating our watertube manufacturing to Hutchinson, more customers will benefit from our great central U.S. location, which streamlines shipping anywhere in North America and also offers nearby rail access to move products requiring ocean shipping,” said Doug Wright, Superior’s CEO.
In Missouri, transformer supplier WEG announced it has established a new transformer facility this month in the town of Washington. The new plant represents an investment of $17 million and will produce power transformers up to 10 MVA and voltage up to 46kV, according to the company’s website.
Meanwhile, global metals company SAF announced plans this month to establish a new metal fabrication manufacturing plant in Temple, Texas. The new 60,000- square-foot plant will manufacture panel systems and extrusions, sheet distribution, and provide custom metal fabrication and aims to eventually employ 50. The new site joins several SAF facilities in the U.S., including sites in Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana and California.
"Our new Texas location was chosen for strategic reasons and is part of SAF's ongoing commitment to more efficiently and effectively serve our customers," said Penn McClatchey, CEO of SAF. "
Global aerospace and defense technology company L3Harris Technologies announced September 16th that has expanded its Fort Wayne, Indiana facility, in response to growing demand for advanced satellites from the Department of Defense.
The expanded location will support missile defense satellite programs, supporting engineering, integration, testing and program management.
“Our customers face rapidly evolving threats now, not in years,” said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “We’ve increased our investment and expanded our capacity prior to receiving program awards so we can help them address threats without hesitancy.”
In Wichita, aeronautics manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems held an open house at the beginning of September, showcasing its new state-of-the-art global digital logistics center, a 150,000 square-foot smart distribution facility that leverages digital technology to manage 38,000 unique parts produced at Spirit’s Wichita manufacturing plant, as well as the 100,000 parts sourced from other suppliers.
The facility is largely automated, with a storage and retrieval system that features nine acres of automated rack shelving populated by robotic cranes that travel back and forth, feeding 208 kit boxes per hour.
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Missed last month? Read New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced In August 2021. Or check out our 2020 roundup: 2020 in Review: The Year in New Manufacturing Plants.