Cooley Group Inc. plans to invest $20 million in a coated-fabric plant in Richburg, S.C. Chairman P. Robert Siener said his firm will start with a 75,000-square-foot facility due to open early in 2001. The operation will include extrusion coating machinery from an undetermined supplier.
Cooley has annual sales of about $100 million and makes a variety of polymer-coated fabrics. Its engineered membranes group makes single-ply roofing and geomembranes using resins such as polyurethane and polypropylene. The industrial products group produces coated fabrics for transportation, recreation, construction, safety and other markets. The sign systems group supplies flexible substrates, including translucent types for signs, awnings and graphic arts.
The private company runs a four-plant complex at its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters and another facility in Cranston, R.I. Last year it expanded into Europe by acquiring Van Besouw Kunststoffen BV of Goirle, Netherlands. Van Besouw makes coated fabrics, roof membranes, thermoplastic sheet for thermoforming and other markets, and laminates.
The Siener family owns a majority of Cooley, which has origins going back more than 100 years.
It entered single-ply roofing and geomembranes in 1980 and flexible coated fabric for signs in 1985. In 1995, when its sales exceeded $60 million, it installed a high-speed extrusion line.