September witnessed a flurry of activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector, with significant investments and expansions across numerous sectors. From electric vehicle batteries to aerospace components, clean energy solutions, and more, this month showcased the resilience and growth of American industry. In this article, we'll explore the key highlights, including Gotion's $2 billion EV battery plant in Illinois, Schneider Electric's new Texas facility, and other exciting developments that defined U.S. manufacturing in September 2023.
First up, several announcements were made in the state of Illinois, the largest among them from Gotion, a global battery manufacturer, which announced plans to build a $2 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Manteno, Illinois. The plant will create over 2,600 new jobs and produce 10 GWh of battery packs and 40 GWh of battery cells per year. The project is supported by a $536 million incentive package from the state of Illinois, which includes tax benefits, capital funding, and workforce development grants.
Gotion’s chairman Li Zhen said, "We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S."4 The plant is expected to start production in 2024.
Meanwhile, UPSIDE Foods, a company that produces meat, poultry and seafood from animal cells, will open its first commercial-scale production facility in Glenview, Illinois. The company will invest $141 million and create 75 new jobs in the 187,000-square-foot facility, which will produce ground cultivated chicken products and other species in the future. The facility is supported by an EDGE for Start Ups tax credit from the state.
“Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and a notable history of meat production,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods.
And in University Park, Illinois, Alive Telecom, a global supplier of equipment, systems, and services for the communications market, has signed a 74,978-square-foot industrial lease at 500 Crossing Drive in University Park, Illinois. The new facility is part of the company’s expansion plan and will be used to manufacture TV equipment. The 150,000-square-foot building was constructed in 2006 and is now fully leased. The company expects to create new jobs with this expansion.
“This building allows Alive Telecom to strategically scale its operations as it continues to grow,” said Jeff Galante of Lee & Associates, who represented the tenant in the lease agreement.
And in another win for U.S. Midwest, Bila Solar, a solar energy startup, announced it will invest more than $35 million to set up its U.S. headquarters and a solar module manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, creating more than 240 new jobs. The company will renovate and equip a 150,000-square-foot space to produce one gigawatt of glassless, frameless solar modules per year. These modules are lightweight and can be used in various applications where traditional solar panels cannot.
“We’re bringing to the U.S. market ultralight modules that go where traditional solar panels can’t go,” said Mick McDaniel, vice president and U.S. general manager of Bila Solar.
As we know, Texas is big on everything and big new factories are no exception. This month in the Lonestar State, Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and automation, inaugurated a new 160,000 square foot manufacturing plant in El Paso, TX. The plant is part of a $300 million U.S. manufacturing investment that will support customers in the energy transition and infrastructure sectors. The plant will produce low voltage and medium voltage electrical products for data centers and other applications. The plant will also create about 400 new jobs, making Schneider Electric one of the largest employers in the region.
“As we embark on this journey with the opening of our latest manufacturing plant in the United States, we look forward to providing the highest level of service to our customers while also contributing to the revitalization of American manufacturing,” said Annette Clayton, CEO of Schneider Electric North America.
In another announcement for the state of Texas, Amogy, a company that develops emission-free, ammonia-based power solutions, has announced its expansion to Houston with a new manufacturing facility. The facility, which will produce powerpacks for various sectors, is an investment of over $40 million and will create about 200 jobs by the end of 2024. The facility is expected to be operational in early 2024 and will serve customers globally.
“We chose Houston as the ‘energy capital of the world’ because we wanted to be near customers, suppliers, and the right talent as we ramp up operations,” said Seonghoon Woo, CEO and co-founder of Amogy.
Meanwhile, in California, Quantum-Systems Inc., a leader in eVTOL aerial intelligence solutions, has announced the opening of a second manufacturing facility in Moorpark, CA. The new 20,000-square-foot facility will increase the production of the Vector eVTOL fixed-wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and other future UAS for defense and security customers in North and Latin America. The company will also create over 40 new jobs in engineering, manufacturing and administration in the next year.
“With this expansion and added talent, we can continue to innovate, produce and deliver new aerial intelligence capabilities that contribute to the safeguarding of our nation and its allies, but at a more rapid pace and larger scale,” said David Sharpin, CEO of Quantum-Systems Inc.
And in another major announcement in the U.S. West, Nextracker, a solar tracker and software company, and Unimacts, a manufacturing and supply chain provider, have announced the opening of a new facility in Las Vegas that will produce steel components for Nextracker’s solar power plants. The facility will create more than 200 jobs by 2024 and serve projects in Nevada and southwestern states. The facility is part of Nextracker’s domestic expansion strategy that aims to enhance energy security and reduce supply chain risks.
“By partnering with Unimacts on this new production line, we’re bringing back American manufacturing jobs and building out America’s energy infrastructure,” said Dan Shugar, founder and CEO of Nextracker. The announcement was made at a dedication event attended by industry leaders and government officials.
We also saw multiple new announcements in the U.S. South this September. American WeatherStar, a provider of roof coating systems and services, has opened a new 10,500 sq. ft. manufacturing facility at its corporate headquarters in Irvington, Alabama. The new facility will enable the company to produce its own silicone, urethane, and acrylic coatings for its more than 500 Approved Contractors nationwide. The company expects to increase its production capacity and reduce its reliance on private label manufacturers.
“We moved out here in March of 2020 with one specific goal in mind: GROWTH,” said American WeatherStar President Brian O’Donnell. “Last year, we blended approximately 200,000 gallons of product in our existing plant, but we knew building a bigger facility was essential to the company’s continued growth.”
Pratt Industries, a Georgia-based company that produces recycled paper and packaging products, will build a new facility in Warner Robins, Peach County. The facility will be 496,000 square feet and will produce corrugated boxes using 100 percent recycled containerboard. The project is part of the company’s $800 million investment in the state and will bring its total workforce in Georgia to over 2,100 employees.
“We’re very honored to be coming to Warner Robins and we’re committed to the great State of Georgia – in fact, Georgia is where our company began,” said Anthony Pratt, Global Executive Chairman for Pratt Industries.
Daesol Ausys, a Korean company that makes interior components for electric vehicles, announced that it will invest $72 million and create more than 140 jobs in a new manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia. The facility will produce luggage boards and luggage covers and is expected to start operations in December 2024. Daesol Ausys is a key supplier for Kia Georgia, Hyundai Motor Group, and General Motors.
“We’re committed to delivering world-class services that exceed our clients’ requirements and expectations,” said Min Ho Kwon, CEO of Daesol Ausys. “We are very excited about this project in the Northwest Harris Business Park and look forward to continuing the partnership with the State of Georgia and Harris County.”
Vuzix, a company that specializes in smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology, has opened a new 12,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Rochester, NY. The facility will produce waveguides, a key component of AR displays, for both in-house and OEM products. The facility will also enable the company to develop new waveguide technologies and materials, as well as increase its production capacity and lower its costs. The company plans to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in December.
“This is a one-of-a-kind production facility, one that significantly leverages our years of waveguide expertise from design through to production,” said Paul Travers, the CEO of Vuzix.
Samtec, a global leader in electronic interconnect solutions, has opened a new 24,000 square foot facility in Royersford, Pennsylvania. The facility will produce high precision coaxial cables and RF connectors for various industries, such as aerospace/defense, medical device, Datacom, and automotive. The facility will also develop next-generation products using the latest material science and signal integrity technologies. Samtec expects to create more jobs and meet the growing demand for advanced interconnect solutions.
“Adding the new Pennsylvania facility enables us to continue pushing the boundaries of RF connector and cable technology; delivering innovative solutions that drive progress across multiple industries,” said John Shine, President and CEO of Samtec.
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