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IndustryNet Blog

The week in U.S. manufacturing wins

Posted by IndustryNet on Friday, November 9, 2018

100000298tire_manufacturingU.S. industrial activity remains firmly in expansion territory. In recent weeks, a flurry of positive news for U.S. manufacturing has emerged, countering the unease cause by the new import tariffs and continuing the positive track the sector has been on for the past several years.

Durable goods orders are trending up; the ISM’s New Orders and Production indices are on solid ground; and the nation’s industrial sector added 32,000 jobs in September alone.

Related: Connecticut adds manufacturing jobs at its fastest rate in decades

Encompassing five states and promising more than 1,000 jobs, here are just a few of the major manufacturer announcements for the week.

India-based company to roll out first U.S. new tire plant

At the Tire Industry Association Award Ceremony in Las Vegas, India-based off-road tire maker Balkrishna Industries(BKT) announced that it will break ground on a new plant in the U.S..

The new plant will be the company’s first overseas venture and will take two years to build. BKT expects to start production in early 2021 at the new factory and aims to produce 20,000 metric tons of off-road tires annually to serve the U.S. market.

BKT is currently scouting out potential U.S. sites for the new plant and plans to announce the winning location at the end of the year.

Michigan wins major chemical R&D expansion

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Pacific Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC), a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, plans to expand its headquarters outside Ann Arbor, investing $17.2 million and creating 50 high-tech jobs.

The expansion involves adding a third building, which will include a research and development lab, as well as warehouse and office space.00000139HighTechManufacturing

Lee Flake, PIDC’s CFO said about the project: "We are looking to grow manufacturing in South Carolina and utilize Michigan for research and development and technology because we feel really comfortable with the high-skilled research scientists we can get in Ann Arbor.”

PIDC broke ground on a new plant in Spartansburg, South Carolina last year, and was initially looking to expand its R&D there, but ultimately went with the Ann Arbor location, citing the region’s educated workforce.

Related: A closer look at Michigan’s manufacturing outlook

Drone manufacturer sets sights on OK City

Just last week, Kratos Defense and Security Systems, a Virginia-based manufacturer of aerial drone systems for the U.S. military held a ribbon cutting for its new unmanned aircraft manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City.

The company announced it will hire 350 employees at the new 100,000 square foot facility to help produce its Tactical UAS and Firejet (MQM-178) unmanned aerial target systems.

In a statement, CEO of Kratos cited the region’s skilled workforce and cost-effective business environment as primary reasons for choosing the Oklahoma City location. “The people of Oklahoma represent a highly patriotic, educated, and motivated workforce with the technical skills that will contribute to building the affordable but technology leading weapon systems needed for tomorrow’s world.”

Kratos has been in expansion mode for a number of months, announcing expansions in Colorado Springs and Orlando, Florida.

New advanced manufacturing facilities for Virginia and Florida

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced just yesterday that a new precision sheet metal fabrication plant is coming to Virginia. Britain-based Harlow Group announced they would break ground on their first U.S. plant in Southside, Virginia.

Prospects of the new project set off a bidding war with Alabama, but Virginia ultimately won out, shelling out $462,000 in grants. The new plant will invest $8 million and hire 49.

precision_machiningPrecision machined materials have posted some impressive growth numbers over the past year.

Just last month, Advanced Airfoil Components, a joint partnership between Siemens USA and Chromalloy established a major 210,000 square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The new facility will produce precision metal components for gas turbines and plans to offer 350 high-tech jobs over the next five years.

“This is the kind of keynote and signature project that will continue to help us grow and develop the manufacturing industry in the Tampa Bay region,” said Jim Weiss, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation 2021 Incoming Chairman.

Ohio scores major auto supplier expansion

Tenneco Automotive has announced a major expansion of its Kettering, OH automotive supply plant. The $61.5 million dollar expansion came at the expense of its plant closures in Georgia and Nebraska, but will bring 300 new jobs to the facility.

To win the expansion, Montgomery County put together an attractive incentive package, including a $500,000 EDGE grant. The facility currently manufactures shock absorbers and struts for GM.

This recent announcement adds to the major investments the state’s industrial sector has seen in the post-recession era. For an in-depth look at Ohio’s manufacturing sector, see our post Ohio manufacturing job growth picks up speed.




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