2020 started out on a hopeful note, with several new companies announced in January and the ISM’s manufacturing activity index rocketing back into expansion territory.
Yet, just as it was looking like manufacturing was starting to climb back from its slump, the coronavirus started to hit supply chains.
U.S. manufacturers were once again are faced with a new set of uncertainties and disruptions to the supply chain, adding to continued disruptions caused by tariffs.
Despite this, U.S. manufacturing is still going strong, with several exciting announcements made in February. This article will take a look at some of the major new manufacturing enterprises on the horizon.
First up, Blue Origin opened its long-awaited rocket engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000, Blue Origin is an aerospace company headquartered in Kent, WA, where it focuses on rocket engine development and spaceflight technologies with the goal of providing wider human access to space.
This new facility in Huntsville will manufacture engines for the Vulcan Centaur rocket currently being built by United Launch Alliance in nearby Decatur, Alabama.
Alabama is home to a number of aerospace companies, including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin and ATK Launch Systems. Last year, we announced the opening of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s major new facility in Huntsville, which will focus on producing solid rocket motor cases for the Standard Missile 3.
Huntsville has long been known as the “rocket capital” of the U.S. The addition of Blue Origin’s facility there will serve to secure the city’s reputation as an aerospace stronghold.
The Hoosier State saw several new announcements in February, starting with a major expansion unveiled by Subaru. The automaker announced on February 6th that it will be expanding its Lafayette facility, investing $158 million to build a new service parts facility and transmission assembly shop. Once complete, the new facility will employ an additional 350 workers.
Subaru is a major employer in Lafayette, employing 6,000 workers at the sprawling 3.5 million square feet plant.
This follows Abbott Lab’s big announcement that it plans to break ground on a new facility in Westfield.
The new, $38 million facility will focus on manufacturing Abbott’s MitraClip, a medical device used in heart surgery to repair leaky valves.
The new plant is slated to open in 2021 and will employ 477 once fully operational.
Meanwhile, last month we reported on box manufacturer DS Smith’s plans to open a new plant in Lebanon, Indiana. DS Smith officially opened its $2 billion square-foot box manufacturing facility in late January.
The new plant employs 170 to produce 30,000 boxes per hour, using recycled materials and high-tech lightweight materials.
Indiana is a powerhouse for manufacturing, boasting some of the lowest business costs in the Midwest and home to some major automakers and drug companies.
IndustrySelect’s database of Indiana manufacturers currently contains 9,072 companies and 31,000 executives, making it among the top manufacturing states in the U.S.
Meanwhile, we saw the end of an era at GM’s Detroit Hamtrack facility. After 35 years of production, the last gas-powered vehicle rolled off the assembly line 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.
Once complete, the retooled $22 billion facility will produce electric vehicles only, including an electric Hummer pickup and the self-driving Cruise Origin. The new enterprise will eventually employ 2,200.
Auto manufacturing has resurged in Michigan – particularly in the Detroit area, over the past decade. Despite a recent auto industry slowdown, the region is a stronghold for the next generation of automobile manufacturing, with a number of facilities working on self-driving and electric vehicle technology.
There are roughly 700 automakers and auto part & components suppliers in the state of Michigan, according to IndustrySelect. The state overall is home to 13,000 industrial companies and 41,000 industrial executives.
Last month, 84 Lumber opened a new components manufacturing facility in New Britain, Pennsylvania. The new plant will focus on making wall panels, roof trusses and floor trusses.
This is 84 Lumber’s tenth U.S. facility, and has plans to break ground on additional facilities in Virginia and Ohio.
The New Britain facility will hire 20 initially, with plans to eventually employ 45.
Meanwhile, health food manufacturer Ark Foods opened its new production facility in Hackensack, where it will produce a new line of veggie bowls and snacks.
The new 15,000 square-foot facility is expected to employ 100 when fully operational.
Food processing is among New Jersey’s top industries, accounting for 598 of the state’s manufacturers, according to IndustrySelect’s database of New Jersey manufacturers.
In Louisiana last month, Canadian company E.I. Williams announced plans to establish an industrial sound control equipment plant in North Webster Parish Industrial District, where it will produce noise enclosure equipment.
The new enterprise is expected to employ 100 over five years and represents a $700,000 investment.
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New Manufacturing Plants Announced in June (2020)
New Manufacturing Companies Announced in July (2020)
New Manufacturing Plants Unveiledi in August (2020)