Above: A Ball Corporation aluminum plant. Source: Ball Corporation.
U.S. manufacturers started out 2021 on an especially strong note. New orders, production and employment remain in expansion territory, while domestic sourcing continues to trend up on the industrial marketplace IndustryNet.
And, in a particularly good sign for the U.S. manufacturing sector, we saw a flurry of new plant announcements in January 2021. Several new facilities opened up in response to the pandemic, while some major new operations were announced in the transportation equipment, biotech and cannabis industries. Today, we are going to explore the new manufacturing plants announced this busy month.
As the nation struggles to close the PPE supply gap amid the pandemic, we’ve seen an increasing number of new facilities open up in an effort to meet unprecedented demand for masks, gloves and other PPE. Some of these facilities were established by well-known companies, where others were start-ups of sometimes unusual origins, such as Kona Mask Company, founded by a United Airlines pilot and flight attendant.
Following this trend, Dr. Farid Namin, a Kansas City-based gastroenterologist, was similarly driven by the shocking shortage of PPE amid the pandemic and announced this month that he plans to break ground on a new 15,000 square foot mask-making facility. Once operational, PPE Mfg USA Corp. plans to hire 40 workers later this month. The new plant expects to produce 30 million surgical masks and 16 million N95 masks annually.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Civica Rx announced plans to establish a new 120,000 square foot facility in Petersburg. The new operation, which will be in partnership with Phlow Corp, will manufacture sterile injectable generic drugs, including those used for COVID-19 patient care, along with surgery and for the treatment of other serious conditions. The new facility represents a $124.5 million investment and brings 180 new jobs to the region.
On a related note, Northway Biotech, a biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) opened a new process development and manufacturing facility in Waltham, Mass. The new 30,000 square foot site is situated in the Boston area’s powerful biotech hub and will focus on cell line development as well as cGMP DS manufacturing and aseptic filling.
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Adverum Biotechnologies announced plans to establish a new gene manufacturing plant in North Carolina’s booming Research Triangle Park. Adverum Biotechnologies is a California-based gene therapy firm that specializes in ocular and rare diseases. This new venture represents a $82.8 million investment and will create 200 new jobs.
And taking a look at the medical devices industry, Caliber Ophthalmics opened a new ophthalmology design and manufacturing center in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. The new 23,0000 square foot facility will feature a clean room for precision medical device manufacturing, an engineering design center and advanced blade manufacturing facilities.
January saw a number of new announcements in the transportation equipment manufacturing sector, starting with the opening of Honda Aircraft Company’s new wing production plant in Greensboro, North Carolina. The new 83,100 square-plant adds to Honda’s existing 133-acre campus. This new facility, which will accommodate wing assembly for the HondaJet Elite, represents an investment of $24.3 million.
And in the burgeoning electric aviation industry, magniX announced the opening of its global operations in Everett, Washington. The company is a leader in the electric aviation sphere and recently powered the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft. The new 40,000 square-foot facility will operate as its global headquarters and will also house its engineering, manufacturing and testing of its electric propulsion systems.
"Washington's aerospace sector continues to attract some of the most innovative companies in the world," said Governor Jay Inslee in a press release. "magniX is moving the industry into the clean energy future and we're looking forward to watching them succeed and grow. Our state's world-class workforce is ready to help magniX lead the way in this exciting next chapter."
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Great Dane Trailers announced plans to establish a new manufacturing plant in Statesboro. The new facility, which will produce refrigerated trailers, represents an investment of $33.5 million and will create 400 jobs in the next four years.
In cannabis news, cannabis manufacturer BeLeaf established one of two planned operations in the city of St. Louis this month. Phytos, a subsidiary of BeLeaf opened a nearly 8,000 square foot plant in the city this month and will focus on cultivation and extraction, including CO2 extraction.
• Ball Corporation, a major producer of sustainable aluminum packaging solutions, announced this month that it will be establishing a new aluminum end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The new plant will supply aluminum to the company’s aluminum can manufacturing facilities across the country. The new venture plans to be operational in early 2022 and will eventually employ 200.
• In response to growing demand for prefab and modular buildings, B & T Manufacturing established a new manufacturing facility this month in Rapid City, South Dakota. The new plant will focus on manufacturing bathroom and kitchen pods as well as modular steel frame products.
• Also this month, SAERTEX multiCom LP announced plans to invest more than $20 million in a new manufacturing plant near Huntersville, North Carolina, creating 45 new jobs and retaining 34 existing positions. SAERTEX multiCom is a manufacturer of YV cured-in-place pipe materials and produces various types of lining products for wastewater and stormwater pipes.
• In Ohio, SJE, a water/wastewater controls solution provider, officially opened its new 51,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Ashland.
• UK-based ventilator and fan company Woods Air Movement announced plans to establish its North American headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Mufreesboro, Tennessee. This represents an investment of $3.6 million and will create 27 new jobs.
• Hytrol Conveyor Company announced it has established a second manufacturing facility in the state of Arkansas. The new $20 million plant, located in Fort Smith, AR will manufacture a parcel product line.
• Flooring solutions manufacturer Uzin Utz announced the establishment of its second U.S. dry mortar facility in Waco, Texas. The new 125,000 square-foot plant will produce self-leveling compounds, thin sets and grout. The company has a second facility in Dover Delaware.
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