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New U.S. Manufacturing Plants Announced in October 2021

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, October 27, 2021


Above: A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Saab's new aerospace facility in West Lafayette, Indiana this month. 

Some major new plant announcements were made in October as U.S. manufacturers continue to meet soaring demand. This month, we saw more cutting-edge enterprises than ever, with new and expanded facilities in the aerospace, automotive, solar, and biotech, while other new projects spanned multiple industries, from generators to textiles to innovative packaging solutions.

Let’s explore some of the most exciting announcements made this month in manufacturing.

New Manufacturing Plants Announced in October

Toyota Expands Battery Production in the United States

In October, Toyota announced plans to invest $3.4 billion in automotive battery production through the year 2030, with specific plans to develop and localize automotive battery production. Central to this goal is a planned partnership with Toyota Tsusho to build an automotive battery plant in the United States. The new facility will represent an investment of $1.29 billion and will create 1,750 jobs, the company said in a press release.

"Toyota's commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs and consumers," said Ted Ogawa, Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America. "This investment will help usher in more affordable electrified vehicles for U.S. consumers, significantly reduce carbon emissions, and importantly, create even more American jobs tied to the future of mobility."

Saab Opens New Aerospace Facility

Meanwhile, Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab this month unveiled its long-awaited new facility in West Lafayette, Indiana. The new plant is the company’s seventh U.S. location and represents Saab’s expansion into the U.S. aerospace industry. The location will produce the company’s aft airframe section for the T-7A Red Hawk trainer program.

Saab expects the new operation to employ 300 by the year 2027 and will partner with Purdue University to pursue R&D in sensor systems and artificial intelligence.

“We’re proud to be an American-run company selling American-made products,” said Erik Smith, President and CEO of Saab, Inc. “With our deep understanding of the mission of the U.S. military and a culture that drives us to work swiftly, efficiently and collaboratively with customers, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead to help keep Americans safe at home and abroad.”

Hypersonic Comes to Alabama

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin continues to expand its footprint in Alabama, with the announcement of a new advanced production facility in Courtland. The new, 65,000 square-foot plant will focus on hypersonic strike production, working closely with the Department of Defense. The new location integrates high-tech digital transformation advancements, including robotic thermal protection application capabilities, as well as smart torque tools and mixed-reality capabilities for training and visual inspection.

Unveiling the Largest Satellite Manufacturing Facility in the World

In Florida, Terran Orbital announced plans to construct the largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world on Merritt Island, according to a press release issued by the Florida governor’s office. The proposed site, called the Commercial Spacecraft and Constellation Facility is expected to create approximately 2,100 jobs and represents an investment of more than $300 million.

Further reading: Top Manufacturing Companies in Florida

Said Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell, “Florida continues to prove that it is the place to do business and we are proud to be at the center of transformational economic growth. We welcome Terran Orbital and the investment they will bring to the Space Coast. This is just the beginning. We have yet to scratch the surface of all that our state will bring to the advancement on the final frontier.”

Extruder Manufacturer Opens New Facility in Nevada

ENTEK Manufacturing, a manufacturer of twin-screw extruders and replacement wear parts, announced the opening of a new manufacturing and engineering facility in Henderson, NV in order to keep up with greater demand. The new $10 million facility encompasses 98,000 square feet and is expected to employ 50.

“We are expanding our business to better meet the needs of our customers’ growing businesses,” said Kim Medford, President of ENTEK Manufacturing, “Our greatest success comes from ensuring the success of the product manufacturers that our equipment supports.”

Meanwhile, Canada-based Evanesce®, provider of sustainable packaging solutions, announced it has opened its first U.S. production facility. Encompassing 15,000 square feet, the new plant is located in Hampton County, South Carolina and will produce eco-friendly Polylactic Acid products – which have been in short supply due to ongoing shipping delays. The company also has its sights set on delivering greater sustainability in packaging, including replacing single-use plastics and Styrofoam as well as investing in its patented Molded Starch Technology for upcycling food waste. The new, $17 million facility will employ 78.

"The expansion of our U.S. manufacturing operations enables Evanesce to address the current supply chain challenges for eco-friendly packaging into a major opportunity by starting production of our innovative sustainable solutions,” said Douglas Horne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Evanesce.

First Offshore Wind Turbine Plant Planned in Virginia

Also, in October, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy celebrated the establishment of the first offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in the U.S. A major, $200 million investment, the new project entails developing more than 80 hecares at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in the state of Virginia and will perform finishing of the company’s Offshore IntegralBlades.

In a press release, the company expressed hopes that the new blade site will facilitate further wind industry development in the U.S..

“As Congress considers taking historic action on climate, this facility evidences that offshore wind can create significant new manufacturing activity and quality jobs to American communities,” said Steve Dayney, Siemens Gamesa’s Head of Offshore North America. “We are hopeful this commitment will lead to further action by federal and state policy makers to establish policies to provide long term certainty and help sustain the competitiveness of this facility in the global marketplace for decades to come.”

Generator Manufacturer Announces New South Carolina Site

And in Trenton, South Carolina, Generac Power Systems, a manufacturer of energy technology solutions announced the opening of its new manufacturing and distribution facility. The new 421,000 square foot operation, which will meet heightened demand for home standby generators, is expected to create 750 jobs.

Merck Doubles Viral Gene Therapy Manufacturing With Second California Plant

On the biotech front, German science and technology company Merck announced it has established a second facility in Carlsbad, California, which will double its production capacity of viral gene therapy vectors and will significantly expand its CDMO footprint across the globe. The new facility represents an investment of $100 million and encompasses 140,000 square feet, which will be dedicated to large-scale commercial and industrial manufacturing for viral gene therapy.

Vermont Sock Manufacturer Expands Footprint

And let’s not forget those small manufacturers out there. This month, textile company Darn Tough Vermont announced plans to expand to the Nantanna Mills, a 66,000 square foot facility in Northfield, Vermont. The company will also add an additional office and manufacturing space in the town of Waterbury. Darn Tough Vermont is a family-owned business that makes merino wool socks guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Director of Marketing for Darn Tough Vermont Brooke Kaplan said in a statement to the Associated Press, “We are based in Vermont and we wouldn’t want to make socks anywhere else,”

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