Founded in 1977, the company produces composite panels and honeycomb cores for the aerospace, building products, ground transportation, marine, military and recreation industries. The panels and cores increase structural strength while decreasing weight.
The company is adding capacity to meet demand for projects needing machined aramid fibers and aluminum products. The parts are coated with a heat-resistant phenolic resin and used for boat hulls, race car bodies, aircraft galleys, missile wings and helicopter blades.
Olaf Huebner, Plascore’s vice president of operations, told Plastics News that the aerospace industry, in particular, once again is behind the facility investment. Machined aramid fibers are used to produce components for aircraft interiors, structures, engines and nacelles.
The expansion comes two years after Plascore spent $6 million to increase its production facility for aerospace components by 73,500 square feet. A hiring spree followed and Plascore’s workforce grew from 300 to 415 employees.
The 35 new positions for the machined products expansion will be filled over the next three years. Last month on the social network LinkedIn, Plascore announced it was hiring workers for a third shift with duties including machine operations, product lamination and general assembly.
“That’s new this year for the business unit that is expanding,” Huebner said in an email about the addition of a third work shift.
Construction of the new manufacturing space should be completed by the end of the year, Huebner added. Business development leaders in the area are looking forward to the jobs it will bring.
“Plascore is an innovator in lightweight, high-performance composite products. Their growth in West Michigan continues to deepen the bench of manufactured products and diverse industry applications for those products,” Jennifer Owens, president of economic development group Lakeshore Advantage, said in a news release. “Their investment in equipment and operations demonstrates their commitment to the community and their employees.”
Earlier this year, the Zeeland City Council approved a 12-year tax break for Plascore to support the business’s growth. Lakeshore Advantage worked with the company and connected them with local resources to support their expansion.
Zeeeland City Manager Tim Klunder said in the release that local officials are eagerly awaiting Plascore’s next expansion plan to become a reality.
Plascore also had a growth spurt in 2012, when it built a new facility to increase manufacturing capabilities for Nomex, a flame-resistant meta-aramid material developed by DuPont. Related to nylon but with aromatic backbones of rigidity and durability, Nomex also has excellent thermal, chemical, and radiation resistance. It comes in fiber and sheet forms.
In addition to composite panels and honeycomb cores, the company manufactures clean room wall and ceiling systems for ultra-clean electronic and pharmaceutical manufacturing and it has capabilities for adhesive development, CNC machining, powder coating and welding.
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