Tasz Inc. is expanding in Lenoir, N.C., as the company tries to make inroads into the plastic wine cork market.
According to a Sept. 28 news release from Gov. Bev Perdue, Tasz plans to create 21 jobs and invest $2.2 million in Lenoir during the next three years.
The project received a $42,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
According to the release, the average annual wage for new employees will be $29,833, not including benefits.
Tasz, a unit of Lenoir-based specialty compounder Polychem Alloy Inc., recently acquired the assets of NeoCork Technologies of Benicia, Calif., with operations in California, Canada and Europe.
PolyChem Alloy and Tasz which will market its products under the NeoCork brand will establish joint operations for both firms at the Lenoir Industrial Park.
A 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be built to house Tasz; PCA will provide raw materials for manufacturing.
Caldwell County is a central location for serving the wine industries in the eastern and northeastern U.S., Canada, South America and Europe, Chakra Gupta, president of both firms, said in the release. North Carolina has been a leader in manufacturing of extruded plastic parts, therefore an existing skilled workforce is available.
After evaluating locations in California and Europe, we determined that Caldwell County and Lenoir provided ideal place to establish the Tasz investment.
Officials from both firms were not immediately available for comment.
According to its website, the NeoCork manufacturing process involves coextruding a low density polyethylene foam core through two dies, then seamlessly bonding the core to a patented thermoplastic elastomer outer skin; the tube of material is cooled and cut to length in one continuous process.
Diameter and roundness are continuously monitored by non-contact laser gauging, as are skin thickness and integrity. Cork density is continuously checked by ultrasound measurements.
Corks are available in lengths of 43 millimeters and 37mm, with a diameter of 22mm, in natural or wood-grain finishes.