After a banner start to the new year, U.S. manufacturers continued to establish new facilities at a rapid pace in February. This month brought continued investment in the U.S. semiconductor and EV tech industries, as well as new investments in the food and beverage, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.
Let’s explore some of the most exciting new manufacturing operations announced in February 2023.
Ford announced February 13th that it plans to establish a major 2.5 million square-foot EV battery manufacturing plant in Marshall, Michigan in support of its goal to produce two million electric vehicles annually by the year 2026. The new facility is expected to create 2,500 jobs and represents an investment of $3.5 billion.
“We are committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution in America, and that means investing in the technology and jobs that will keep us on the cutting edge of this global transformation in our industry,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chair. “I am also proud that we chose our home state of Michigan for this critical battery production hub.”
Meanwhile, in Utah, Texas Instruments announced plans to establish a new semiconductor chip factory in Lehi. Ranking as the largest private investment in Utah’s history, TI is pouring $11 billion into the project. The company expects the new facility will create 800 jobs and thousands more indirect jobs.
“Our decision to build a second fab in Lehi underscores our commitment to Utah, and is a testament to the talented team there who will lay the groundwork for another important chapter in TI’s future,” said Haviv Ilan, TI executive vice president and chief operating officer, and incoming president and chief executive officer. “With the anticipated growth of semiconductors in electronics, particularly in industrial and automotive, and the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, there is no better time to further invest in our internal manufacturing capacity.”
In related semiconductor news, HyRel Technologies, which specializes in semiconductor modification solutions, announced February 5th that it has started operations at a new manufacturing facility in Peoria, Arizona. The new $15 million facility encompasses 20,000 square feet and will feature touchless robotic processing systems for microelectronic components, semiconductors, and related applications, serving the aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, commercial, and OEM industries. The new operation brings 50 new jobs to the Peoria area.
“Since my co-founder Scott Baker and I launched HyRel Technologies, it has always been the end goal to move to Arizona, no other state has such a commitment to building a thriving and resilient national semiconductor industry,” said Brian Watson, Founder of HyRel Technologies.
Vireo Systems officially opened its new creatine manufacturing plant in Plattsmouth, Nebraska this month. As the first creatine manufacturing plant in the United States, the new facility will produce the company’s line of CON-CRĒT, a bioavailable creatine, bringing 200 jobs to the Omaha area.
"Vireo is investing in this plant and in our CON-CRĒT® brand because concentrated creatine is arguably the most important supplement a person can take to support their overall health (and fitness)," says Mark Faulkner, Vireo CEO.
Representing an investment of $16.6 million, the company estimates it will bring $174 million in economic impact annually to the area. Although a popular supplement, currently all creatine sold in the U.S. is made overseas. Vireo’s new investment in Nebraska is part of its goal to make all of its products in the U.S.
The U.S. automotive industry continues to make huge strides. This month, Samkee Corp., a South Korea-based automotive supplier announced plans to establish its first U.S. factory in Tuskegee, Alabama. The new, $128 million facility will bring 170 jobs to the area and will serve as a Tier 1 supplier for Hyundai Motor Co.
“Samkee is a worldwide leader in quality manufactured aluminum die cast products,” said CEO Chi Hwan Kim. “Our Tuskegee plant will allow our company to serve the North American market along with Hyundai’s market growth for both combustion engines and transmissions, as well as electric vehicle and battery parts.”
Parts production is expected to begin in 2024.
Further supporting the automotive industry and spurred by demand for zero-emission mobility and infrastructure, Hexagon Purus officially opened its new 60,000 square-foot plant in Westminster, Maryland. The new facility will produce hydrogen cylinders for heavy duty vehicle applications
“We are currently providing hydrogen storage solutions for several heavy-duty trucking and transit bus OEMs such as Nikola, Hino and New Flyer, that demand the highest standards. This site will serve a dual role, not only as a top-of-the-line production site but also a technical center of excellence, providing engineering, research, and development for Hexagon Purus Group,” says Dr. Michael Kleschinski, EVP at Hexagon Purus.
The new operation will bring 150 skilled jobs to the area.
Meanwhile, Gentex Corporation, a supplier of electro-optical products, announced plans February 1st to establish a new production facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The new operation will bring 50 new jobs to the area and will function as a satellite facility to its nearby Zeeland production plant, which serves to supply the automotive, aerospace and fire protection industries and employs 5,500.
“Rising transportation costs make commuting increasingly difficult, so if Gentex wants to recruit employees from Grand Rapids, we need to be here,” said Gentex President and CEO Steve Downing. “And by locating a satellite plant and creating jobs in a neighborhood near city center, our goal is to strengthen not only Gentex, but also the surrounding community, and we look forward to future opportunities to do so.”
Above: Inside SunOpta's new beverage manufacturing facility in Midlothian, Texas
In Texas, SunOpta opened its new beverage manufacturing facility in Midlothian February 9th. The new, 280,000 square foot facility will manufacture the company’s line of plant-based milks and creamers, among other products like tea and will bring 175 new jobs to the area.
“This plant is an important part of SunOpta’s long-term goals and a powerful next step in our company vision,” said Joe Ennen, CEO of SunOpta. “The fully-equipped and state-of-the-art facility will enhance our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities. In addition, through innovation and our dedication to sustainability, we can respond to the increasing nationwide demand for plant-based food and beverages.”
Pharmaceutical company Upsher-Smith Laboratories officially opened its new 270,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The new plant will offer up-to-date packaging, supports contract manufacturing for third parties and serialization.
“Upsher-Smith is a trusted partner in health with a 104-year history of manufacturing excellence,” said Rich Fisher, President and COO, Upsher-Smith. “The opening of this world-class facility marks another important milestone for our company. We plan to use this innovative asset to support our own organic production and pipeline as well as partners looking for end-to-end supply chain solutions in the contract manufacturing space.”
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