Bluestar Silicones, a silicone supplier based in East Bruswick, NJ, USA, has announced plans to expand its manufacturing footprint and R&D operations in North America. The investment includes the acquisition of a 147,000 square foot former textile chemicals factory in Charlotte, NC, USA, which will become home to the company’s two manufacturing sites, which currently are located in Ventura, CA, USA, and Rock Hill, SC, USA.
The new site, which sits on 19.4 acres, offers Bluestar Silicones room for growth to support its global five-year strategic plan to become a leader in the silicones industry. Completion of the transition is planned for mid-2013.
“The sizable footprint in Charlotte will enable us to expand our manufacturing workshops, increase our laboratory space and give us significant room to grow in existing specialty markets and enter new markets,” says J. Christopher York, president of Bluestar Silicones North America. “In addition, this investment will greatly improve our day-to-day operational efficiencies to become even more responsive to market needs.”
The company also intends to increase staffing in sales, marketing, and technical service. Employment is projected to increase 25 percent in the next two years at the new Charlotte facility.
The companyplans to add a range of operational improvements to its processes, including statistical control and automation machinery, where possible. According to York, new process equipment will be purchased and installed at the new site for more localized manufacturing to support growth in key markets. In addition, bulk storage capability will be available at the new site to improve efficiency and assure raw material feedstock supply.
On the R&D side, larger laboratory space, new pilot equipment and increased staffing will offer customers improved technical responsiveness and faster product development.
The company intends to produce its range of silicone technologies at the Charlotte facility, including liquid silicone rubbers, high consistency rubbers, room-temperature vulcanized silicones, fluids, dispersions, release coatings, specialty fluids, resins and antifoam, marketed under its Silbione, Silcolease, Silcolapse, Lyndcoat and Bluesil trade names.