As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2018

Aerial view of Continental Structural Plastics’ North Baltimore facility

Aerial view of Continental Structural Plastics’ North Baltimore facility

CSP investing $34M in North Baltimore

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a Teijin Group company that provides technologies in lightweight materials and composite solutions for the automotive, heavy truck, HVAC, and construction industries, is investing $34 million in a new 72,200 square foot expansion at its North Baltimore operations. The expansion is expected to result in 50-75 new jobs and is the second phase of a major facility expansion.

The project broke ground in early June and is expected to be complete in June 2019. Auburn Hills-based Giffin, Inc. is the general contractor and architect for the project.

The new facility will provide capacity for its Mercury Marine and Jeep Wrangler business and is allowing the company to bring outsourced painting in-house as it will be used for a new top coat line. CSP’s investment will include robots, a palin unit, a paint booth, and spray equipment.

Kim Zitny, director of corporate communications for CSP, said, “Our growth is being driven by OEMs realizing the many benefits that come from working with composites and from working with the experienced team at CSP. We are a full-service, Tier One supplier, and can provide any level of design and engineering support required by the customer, in addition to molding and manufacturing components.”

Zitny noted that CSP is focused on helping automakers take weight out of their vehicles, as the company is a global leader in lightweight, composite technologies.

“We are experiencing growth globally as we help OEMs take weight out of key applications like battery boxes and pickup boxes. We are also the largest compounder of composites in the US. Our current SMC production volumes exceed 84,000 US tons annually,” said Zitny.

According to the company, its growth is evident as it invested $40 million to add three large presses, upgrade employee areas, and added 100 jobs to its North Baltimore facility in the past year as it implemented the first phase of this major facility expansion. The investment in these facility changes and upgrades was to increase capacity and improve and enhance the working environment for its employees. Specifically, the upgrades were made to its employee areas, including its offices, conference rooms, break rooms, restrooms, and cafeteria. The upgrades and new presses were in response to the company’s ongoing global growth and to support existing and projected new business at the facility.

Continental Structural Plastics’ facility in North Baltimore

Continental Structural Plastics’ facility in North Baltimore

The Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) worked with AEP and the Wood County Port Authority in moving the project forward. In addition, the RGP helped with the local tax abatement and in securing a letter of support from Ohio Means Jobs.

Rob Turner, operations manager at CSP North Baltimore, said at the time of the first expansion, “CSP has some of the most innovative lightweight solutions available to automakers today, so we are experiencing a level of growth that we anticipate will continue into the future. This is a solid company to work for, and we are excited to be able to offer these job opportunities to our neighbors in the community.”

CSP is also exploring expansion opportunities in Europe and China to better support its global customer base, noted Zitny.

The company is a large manufacturer and molder of composite materials including: TCA Ultra Lite®; Structural Ultra Lite; Sereebo®; Carbon Fiber and Carbon Fiber SMC; Long Fiber Thermoplastic – Direct (LFT-D); Glass Mat Thermoplastic (GMT); Resin Transfer Molding (RTM); and Pre-preg Compression Molding (PCM).

“In addition to Class A body panels and closures, CSP offers materials that are ideal for electric vehicle battery boxes, pickup boxes, underbody and under hood applications, and structural applications,” said Zitny.

The North Baltimore facility has five key product areas, including: Mercury Marine – outboard motor cowls and chaps; Chevrolet Volt – battery covers; Chevrolet Spark – battery covers; Hino medium duty truck – hoods and fenders; and Ford medium duty truck – hoods and fenders.

CSP has operations on three continents and more than 3,900 employees. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, CSP provides full-service engineering support and holds numerous patents covering materials development and manufacturing processes in composite materials formulation, design, and manufacturing technologies.

 

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