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2020 in Review: The Year in New U.S. Manufacturing Plants

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, December 22, 2020


Above: Morgon Olson's new plant in Roanoake, VA (Photo Credit: Trailer Body Builders.com)

2020 was an unprecedented year for manufacturers. Early in the year, the coronavirus outbreak upended global supply chains, leaving industrial companies scrambling to find new suppliers. Then, the pandemic hit the United States, setting off shutdowns in many states. Many manufacturers had to shut their doors, while others completely retooled in the nation’s time of need and became overnight heroes, producing critical supplies for healthcare workers and the general public.

Industrial companies then faced the worse downturn since the Great Depression, and several months later experienced the sharpest rebound since the 1980s. Through it all, U.S. manufacturers continued to open up new manufacturing companies and expand existing ones as the sector progressed in its slow climb back from pandemic lows.

Today, we've compiled the most exciting new manufacturing companies announced in 2020.

New Manufacturing Companies Announced in 2020

January 2020:

January started off on a sour note, with the ISM manufacturing activity index falling to a 10-year low and continuing a contraction that began in July of 2019. However, January is a big month for new manufacturing facilities. Here are the major announcements that were made at the beginning of the year.

• Cleaning supplies giant Clorox announced plans to establish a new facility in Berkley County’s Tabler Station Business Park in West Virginia.
• Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced plans to establish a new plant in Research Triangle Park, a high-tech innovation hub associated with UNC-CH, Duke and NC State University.
• Also in North Carolina, Symmetrix Composite Tooling Facility, a Rhode Island-based digital fabricator, would be establishing a new plant in Statesville.
• Jesco Iron Craft, Inc. d/b/a/ Jescraft that announced plans to open a new plant in Oxford, Connecticut.
• London-based box manufacturer DS Smith announced plans to establish a corrugated-box facility in Lebanon, Indiana.
• Satellite manufacturer LeoStella opened a state-of-the-art facility in Tukwila, Washington.

Read More: New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced in January

February 2020:

In February, U.S. manufacturing activity rocketed out of contraction, even as coronavirus was spreading across the globe and disrupting supply chains. Several new projects were announced.

• In February, Blue Origin opened its long-awaited rocket engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville.
• Auto giant Subaru unveiled a major expansion in Lafayette, Indiana.
• Abbott Lab made a big announcement that it planned to break ground on a new facility in Westfield, Indiana.
• The last gas-powered vehicle rolled off the assembly line at GM’s Detroit Hamtrack facility in mid-February. giving way to a temporary shutdown for the facility’s 800 workers as the plant retools over the next 12-18 months.
• 84 Lumber established a new components manufacturing facility in New Britain, Pennsylvania.
• Health food manufacturer Ark Foods opened its new production facility in Hackensack, for the production of a new line of veggie bowls and snacks.
• Canadian company E.I. Williams announced plans to open an industrial sound control equipment plant in North Webster Parish Industrial District. The new facility will produce noise enclosure equipment.

Read more: New Manufacturing Plants Opened in February

March, April & May 2020: Manufacturing Heroes Emerge

The COVID-19 pandemic hit home in March of 2020, and for the first time in history, all but the most critical manufacturers had to shut their doors as stay-at-home orders were announced in several states. Needless to say, there were not any new plant announcements to speak of, yet an increasing number of companies completely pivoted to being producing PPE and other supplies critical to the coronavirus fight. We, in turn, pivoted our reporting, and focused on the remarkable companies that completely transformed their facilities – in some cases overnight – to meet the needs of a nation in crisis. Here are just a few:

• Anheuser-Busch began producing vats of sanitizer at its Van Nuys, California and Baldwinsville, NY facilities.
• Chicago’s Koval Distillery, Duluth-based Vikre Distillery and Pernod Richard USA also began making hand sanitizer
• An “Arsenal of Health” as described by Crain’s Detroit, sprang into action in the Detroit area, with the Big Three automakers teaming up to produce and supply components critical to the manufacture of ventilators, masks and other supplies.
• Meridian LightWeight Technologies helped GM procure compressor parts needed to make the ventilators, and Creative Foam Corp. produced foam parts for the ventilators.
• Kass Tailored, a furniture upholsterer in Washington State, retooled its facility in 48 hours to produce protective gear for healthcare workers.
• Fashion designer Christian Siriano has set his seamstresses to work on producing masks.
• Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel started up mask production in Los Angeles.
• A number of biotech companies jumped into the race to develop a vaccine, including Maryland-based Novavax, San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology, and of course, Boston-based Moderna.
• Chicago-based 3-D manufacturing startup Fast Radius announced began mass-producing face shields using 3-D printing technology.
Midwest Prototyping, teamed up with design firm Delve and University of Wisconsin’s Madison Makerspace to create the “BadgerShield”, their own spin on a N95 face shield for medical professionals.
• Brooklyn Naval Yard, known long ago as the “Can Do Yard” during World War II, began making all types of PPE, with one company producing 18,000 face shields per day.
• Origin, a San Francisco-based manufacturer of 3D printers started producing test swabs.
• Wisconsin-based plastics manufacturer Spartek started producing a line of its own reusable face shields.
• Alene announced it would also be making face shields, producing and donating 80,000 shields to healthcare providers in need.
• Honeywell began ramping up production of N95 masks at its Smithfield, Rhode Island location.
• New Balance stepped in, making face masks from sneaker materials at its Lawrence, Massachusetts factory.
• Famed Pillow manufacturer MyPillow retooled its Minnesota facility to make masks.
• Auto supplier Covercraft Industries switched gears and began making protective gear for medical workers.
• Fanatics, Inc., which makes Major League Baseball uniforms, began producing thousands of surgical gowns and masks.
• The number of distilleries making hand sanitizers multiplied, including Missouri Ridge Distillery, Bayou Rum, and Austin Whiskey just to name a few.

In these months, industrial production, manufacturing activity, employment and more sunk to historic lows. But things began to turn around early in the summer as stay-at-home restrictions were lifted and more non-essential manufacturers opened their doors.

Read more: U.S. Manufacturers Retool to Produce Lifesaving Supplies Amid Coronavirus Fight

The Great Pivot: Full List of U.S. Manufacturers Retooling to Protect Frontline Workers

June 2020

Here are a few of the new manufacturing companies that opened to much socially-distanced fanfare

• Despite 2020 not exactly being the year of air travel, a massive Airbus plan officially opened in Mobile Alabama.
• Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), announced plans to establish a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Arizona.
• Also in Arizona, Benchmark announced the opening of an advanced electronics facility that will focus on advanced electronic systems.
• USA Rare Earth announced the opening of a rare earth and critical minerals processing facility in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
• Quaker Window Products opened its new factory in Eldon, Missouri.
• Digital signage maker Plainview LED announced it opened a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Read the full report: New U.S. Manufacturing Companies Announced in June

July 2020

In July, U.S. manufacturing made an incredible comeback, rocketing back into positive territory in the fastest expansion since 1980. The number of new company announcements in July reflected this historic rebound.

July’s new announcements encompassed 20 states and represented millions in investment.

• Revere Plastic Systems announced plans to establish a new facility in Auburn, Alabama.
• In Arizona, electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola unveiled plans to establish a major $600 million manufacturing plant.
• In Arkansas, SCA Pharma announced plans to expand its Little Rock production facility and at its Windsor, Connecticut plant.
• MaxCare Products recently established a new operation in Santa Ana, California where it will produce masks, PPE, and other medical supplies.
• Creative Flooring Solutions announced plans to establish a new $70 million laminate, wood and vinyl tile plant in Calhoun, Georgia.
• Also in Georgia, Wellmade Flooring announced plans to expand in the state, adding a new facility in Bartow County.
• Snack giant Frito-Lay announced plans to expand its Georgia operations.
• Adhesives and coatings manufacturer Huntsman, unveiled plans to expand capacity at its Illinois facility.
• AgEagle Aerial Systems announced it would expand into the city of Wichita, Kansas.
• GE Appliances unveiled plans to expand production at its facility in Louisville, Kentucky.
• Biotech company Cytiva completed the expansion of its contract biomanufacturing facility in Marlboro, Massachusetts.
• Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM) announced that it has completed expansion of its facility in Michigan.
• Magna Seating announced a major expansion of its Highland Park facility.
• Feighner Boat Lifts and Docks broke ground on a new plant in Woodhull Township, Michigan.
• Bolder Industries began construction on a new manufacturing facility in Maryville, Missouri.
• Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions, LLC opened its new cell and gene therapy manufacturing plant in New Jersey
• Primetals Technologies expanded to Warren, Ohio,
• Safety IMMI opened its new manufacturing facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
• Skydweller Aero Inc., announced plans to establish its U.S. headquarters in Oklahoma City.
• Tesla chose Austin, TX for its fourth Gigafactory
• Coffee Tech Industries announced plans to establish a large factory in Seguin, Texas.
• Contract manufacturer Special Products & Mfg., Inc. unveiled plans to establish a second Texas facility.
• Electric vehicle manufacturer AYRO announced the expansion of its Round Rock, TX facility.
• Maker Therapeutics, Inc. announced plans to establish a new manufacturing facility
• AtlasBX announced construction of its brand new facility in Tennessee.
• Aviagen announced plans to establish a feed processing facility in Pikeville, Tennessee.
• Acoustical Sheetmetal Company announced plans to expand its facility in Virginia Beach, VA.
• Bausch & Lomb announced plans to expand its contact lens products plant, also in Virginia.
• Selkirk Pharma announced they would be breaking ground on a new facility in Spokane’s West Plains area.

Read the full report: New U.S. Manufacturing Companies Announced in July

August 2020

August carried the summer's momentum. Here were the most exciting announcements made in that month.

• Mattress manufacturer MLILY announced plans to open a new facility in Goodyear, AZ.
• Conagra, a major food manufacturer, announced it had started expanding its South Beloit facility.
• viaPhoton, a fiber optics “micro-factory” opened in Aurora, Illinois.
• Bell Textron celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Wichita.
• Medline Industries, Inc. established a new 820,000 square foot distribution facility in Uxbridge to serve healthcare facilities in New England.
• Skin care products manufacturer Tri-K announced that it has established a new plant in the town of Derry, New Hampshire
• Good Catch Foods announced the opening of its new 42,000 square foot facility in Heath, Ohio.
• 84 Lumber announced it has established a new truss production facility in Mansfield, Ohio.
• Phoenix Specialty Mfg Inc., supplier of custom parts to OEM manufacturers, announced plans to expand its facility in Bamberg, S.C.
• Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies began construction on a new gene therapy 60,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in College Station, Texas.
• Mack Trucks opened a new facility in Roanoke County, Virginia.
• Transportation equipment manufacturer Morgan Olson opened a new 925,000 square foot manufacturing plant
• Aebi Schmidt North America announced the expansion of its M-B Companies, Inc. facility in Chilton, Wisconsin.

Read the full report: New U.S. Manufacturing Companies Announced in August

September 2020

• Ford broke ground on a major new F-150 pickup truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan
• South Korea-based SK Innovation Company, began building two major EV battery plants in Jackson County, Georgia
• Shipbuilding giant Huntington Ingalls broke ground on its Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in Hampton, Virginia.
• The Aerospace Corporation also broke ground on a new R&D facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
• Henkel invested $23 million in its North American facilities for soap and sanitizer production.
• Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the opening of a new $40 million COVID testing supplies facility in Lenexa.
• Evergreen Theragnostics broke ground on a new radiopharmaceutical facility in New Jersey.
• Atlantic Medicinal Partners opened a cannabis seed to sale operation in a former LEGO factory in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
• Kaycha Labs NY has established its cannabis testing facility in the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility.
• ResinTech, Inc. announced that officially moved into its new global headquarters in Camden, New Jersey.
• Scoular announced it has established a new barley protein facility in Jerome, Idaho.
• Bang Energy announced it established a manufacturing plant in Lithia Springs, Georgia.
• Water technology and pump manufacturer Grundfos announced plans to establish a new plant in Brookshire, TX.
• Wood products company EGGER announced it has started up production at its new facility in Lexington, North Carolina

Read the whole report: New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced in September 2020

October 2020

• Soap manufacturer Vi-Jon, invested $70 million to expand soap and sanitizer operations in St. Louis and Smyrna, Tennessee.
• Puritan Medical Products, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of COVID-19 testing swabs, announced a second factory in Pittsfield
• Kona Mask Co opened Hawaii's first N-95 mask factory.
• Candymaker Haribo announced plans to begin construction on its first North American plant in the state of Wisconsin.
• Terex Utilities opened its new manufacturing headquarters in Watertown, South Dakota
• South 40 Beef broke ground on a new meatpacking facility in Mott, North Dakota.
• Tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel opened its second U.S. greenfield facility in Inola, Oklahoma.
• Rose Holm, a Denmark-based manufacturer of bolts opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Henrico County, Virginia.
• Steel giant Nucor broke ground on its proposed facility in Kentucky.
• Framebridge announced plans to establish a new high-tech framing facility in Richmond, Kentucky.

Read the full report: New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced in October 2020

November 2020

• Biologics company Cambrex announced it was expanding capacity at its facility in Charles City, Iowa.
• Vibalogics GmbH announced plans to open a new facility in Massachusetts.
• Clorox Company announced an expansion of its vitamins and supplements division in Durham, North Carolina.
• Comar unveiled plans to relocate and expand its West Bend, Wisconsin manufacturing plant.
• Georgia Pacific completed an expansion of its Dixie facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
• Advics Manufacturing announced plans to hire 100 workers at its Lebanon, Ohio facility.
• Auto supplier Camso opened a new manufacturing plant in Junction City, Kansas.
• Arbor Vita8, a seed-to-sales commercial hemp company, opened a new hemp processing facility in Alabama.
• Chocolate manufacturer Ferrero announced plans to build its first North American chocolate manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Illinois.

Read the full report: New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced in November 2020

December 2020

U.S. manufacturing certainly has not taken a break for the holiday. So far, several new plants have been announced or unveiled. Here are just a few.

• The Hamilton Safe Co. has broken ground on a new security products plant in Union Township, Ohio.
• SteelFab, Inc. announced a $23.6 million expansion of its Alabama structural steel plant.
• Confluent Medical announced this month that it is establishing a medical device plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
• Gourmet pet food maker Farmina announced this month that it will establish its first North American production facility in Reidsville, N.C.
• Beverage flavoring maker Monin opened a new facility in Sparks, Nevada.
• Proterra opened a new battery production line at its electric vehicle bus production plant in Los Angeles County.
• And we can’t close out the year without mentioning the major news that Lockheed Martin has bought Aerojet Rocketdyne in a massive $4.4 billion deal.

Why do we keep track of all these new manufacturing plants? Well, it’s part of what we do. At MNI, we’ve kept a close eye on the manufacturing sector for more than 100 years and have been the ultimate source of information on U.S. manufacturers for since 1912.

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