Closing out the year on a high note, December 2023 witnessed U.S. manufacturers announcing a spectrum of new manufacturing enterprises, from state-of-the-art EV tech facilities to substantial investments in packaging, building supplies, food processing and more. Encompassing ten U.S. states, thousands of jobs and billions in investments, today we're exploring the most exciting new manufacturing operations announced in December.
Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies and a leader in protein, has officially opened a new $300 million fully-cooked food production facility in Danville, Virginia. The 325,000-square-foot facility is one of the company’s most-automated plants to date, featuring high-speed robotic case packing and palletizing units, as well as wearable armband devices for team members to improve health, safety and productivity.
The facility will produce approximately four million pounds of premium quality, fully-cooked poultry products weekly to meet the increasing demand for Tyson brand products, both in retail and foodservice. The facility has created nearly 400 new jobs for the southeastern Virginia region and represents a significant investment in the local community. “This plant is also a significant step toward our ongoing goal of operational excellence by investing in innovative technology and automation,” said Donnie King, president and CEO, Tyson Foods.
VACOM, a German manufacturing company specializing in vacuum technology, announced that it will open its U.S. headquarters in Lewistown, Montana. The new facility represents an estimated $90 million investment by VACOM and will create up to 500 good-paying jobs by 2029. The 40,000 square foot campus will include a daycare and an educational center for employees.
Governor Greg Gianforte welcomed VACOM to Montana and praised the company for providing opportunities for Montanans. Jens Bergner, CEO of VACOM, expressed his excitement about working with Montanans and said, “They are a great people!” VACOM is the latest in a series of businesses that have relocated or expanded to Montana under the Gianforte administration.
Chelsea Holding Co., a subsidiary of German conglomerate aluplast Group, has announced a $1.8 million deal to purchase nearly 30 acres at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland for a new manufacturing facility. The 228,000-square-foot plant, which will be named Chelsea Building Products East, will produce PVC-based window and door components and supply materials used both onsite and at Chelsea Building Products South in Greenville, Texas. The new facility will create between 100 and 150 jobs within five years.
The company will also work with Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad to connect a nearby freight rail spur to the new plant, which will enable access to an international rail network served by CSX, Norfolk Southern and Wheeling & Lake Erie railroads.
Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, has announced plans to build its first U.S. production plant in Little Rock, Arkansas. The plant will produce Pure-Pak® cartons for liquid dairy, juices, plant-based products and liquid eggs.
The project represents a significant investment for the region of about $70 million USD, including the land, the building and the equipment. The project will create more than 100 permanent jobs in the region.
Thomas Körmendi, CEO of Elopak, said: “This is our first converting plant in the USA and a landmark investment for our company. North America is a key building block for our future growth and we are very excited to expand our presence in the region.”
Star Charge, a global electric vehicle charging infrastructure company, announced the opening of its first U.S. plant in Columbus, Ohio. The new facility will have an initial production capacity of over 20,000 chargers annually, including AC, DC and bi-directional chargers for various applications. The plant will also manufacture NEVI-ready DC fast chargers, which are highly efficient and intelligent. The company did not disclose the amount of investment or the number of jobs created by the expansion.
The decision to set up in Ohio was influenced by several factors, such as a favorable business environment, reasonable operational costs, a robust supply chain and attractive government incentives, according to the company. “Our goal is to work with our U.S. customers to explore innovative solutions that drive e-mobility adoption and microgrids for a sustainable future,” said Herman Chang, CEO of Star Charge.
In other EV tech news, NanoGraf, a battery technology startup, celebrated the grand opening of its new office and manufacturing facility in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood on December 1, 2023. The 17,000-square-foot space is the first large-volume silicon oxide manufacturing facility in the U.S., and it will produce NanoGraf’s proprietary silicon anode material, which enables longer-lasting, higher-energy, and higher-power lithium-ion batteries.
NanoGraf expects to create more green and high-tech jobs in Chicago, while scaling up its production capacity to meet the growing demand for its battery technology from various sectors, including consumer electronics, electric mobility, and defense.
Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf, said: “NanoGraf’s new manufacturing facility is a testament to our ongoing commitment to grow a robust, competitive domestic battery supply chain. As a fully U.S. owned and operated company, we’re thrilled to play a pivotal role in creating new jobs and opportunities in Chicago.”
LG Chem, a leading global chemical company, has started the construction of a cathode plant in Clarksville, Tennessee, with an investment of around USD 1.6 billion. The plant, which will be the largest of its kind in the U.S., will produce 60,000 tons of cathode materials annually for electric vehicles (EVs) in the North American market. The plant is expected to create about 1,000 jobs and support the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by securing a supply chain from FTA nations. LG Chem has signed long-term contracts with major automakers such as GM and Toyota for the supply of cathode materials.
LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said, "With the Tennessee cathode material plant as the center, LG Chem will undoubtedly leap to become the top cathode material supplier in North America. LG Chem will execute the vision to become the world’s leading comprehensive battery material company, establishing a stable supply chain resilient to any environment."
84 Lumber, the nation’s largest privately held building materials supplier, has opened its newest component manufacturing plant in Fairburn, Georgia. The plant, which cost $10 million to build, will create 100 new full-time jobs and produce roof and floor trusses, wall panels, and engineered wood products for residential and commercial projects. The facility spans 84,000 square feet and is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and technology.
The company’s president and owner, Maggie Hardy Knox, said that the new plant reflects 84 Lumber’s commitment to innovation and growth. “We are always looking for opportunities to expand our footprint and serve more customers across the country,” she said. “This plant will allow us to provide high-quality components and solutions to our builders and contractors in the Atlanta metro area and beyond.”
ABB Installation Products, a leader in electrification and automation, announced the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet the growing demand for its Elastimold® cable accessory solutions. The facility, which represents a more than $40 million investment and 55 new jobs locally, will produce cable accessories and solutions for undergrounding, grid hardening and wildfire mitigation projects.
The new facility will also feature ABB robotics technology, digital operations and a Center of Excellence to support job training, customer collaboration and advanced research and development. ABB Installation Products has been a leading employer in Albuquerque for 50 years, with more than 450 associates working at its existing site on the 40-acre campus.
“ABB’s investment in a new manufacturing facility expands our production capabilities and doubles our capacity to support utilities in revitalizing the US energy infrastructure and tackling climate solutions,” said Ralph Donati, EVP and U.S. and Latin America Region Leader, ABB Installation Products Division.
CertainTeed Roofing, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new roofing manufacturing and distribution center in Bryan, Texas. The project, which received support from local and state authorities, will allow the company to better serve its customers in the southern United States with quality roofing products. The new facility will also reduce the company’s carbon footprint by optimizing the use of rail transportation and recycling asphalt shingle waste.
The new facility in Bryan is CertainTeed’s first new roofing plant since 2016 and will create over 100 new jobs. It will be co-located with an existing NORPRO facility, which is also owned by Saint-Gobain.
“It’s critical that we find meaningful ways to invest in the talent of the future for the manufacturing industry, and we’re committed to building a long-term partnership with the Bryan ISD Technical Education Center,” said Mark Rayfield, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain North America and CertainTeed.
If you’re looking for industrial sales leads for a particular industry, region, company size, and more, consider an IndustrySelect subscription. IndustrySelect gives you live access to MNI’s database of 460,000 industrial companies and one million executives, providing up to 30 data points to help you identify and pre-qualify the best leads. Click here to learn more or start your free demo account, loaded with 500 real company profiles so you can test out all the features of this powerful software!