Advanced Flexible Composites Inc. has expanded its operation with the purchase of another facility at to create space for its growing coatings and food service businesses.
Located adjacent to AFC's headquarters and plant in Lake in the Hills, Ill., the acquired building spans about 37,000 square feet, according to Chris Lewis, president and chief financial officer.
After the firm purchased the facility, it gutted and refurbished the building to fit the firm's needs.
“This building provides us the space necessary to further expand our coating capabilities with new coating lines and processes,” he said. “This vital expansion gives AFC the capacity to continue to support our customers' growing demand for our products.”
Currently, according to Lewis, the new plant houses the company's engineering and maintenance operations and is used for warehousing of raw materials.
“Since we build our own equipment internally,” he said, “we have to have a large and capable work force, along with enough space to house them. In the future, it is our intent to utilize additional space in this facility for some specialty fabrication, including possibly clean room needs.”
A designer and manufacturer of high performance silicone and PTFE coated belting and fabrics, AFC needed to expand its coating capacity further for its PTFE products, Lewis said.
That required the company to relocate a storage operation at its main plant to an available section of its new building.
The vacated area became part of the PTFE coating operation.
In addition, Lewis said, the firm's food service business is expanding at a double-digit pace and needed more room. The food service business includes coated belting made using a variety of substrates, including fiberglass and aramid fiber plastics.
AFC's maintenance and engineering group was housed in the facility occupied by the food service operation and was moved to a larger area in the new complex to free more space for the food service business.
The company owns four buildings on the same street in Lake in the Hills, with almost 150,000 square feet under roof. It also has facilities in Bennington, Vt., Adams, Mass., Mexico City and Runcorn, England.
At the end of 2014, the firm was reorganized into three separate business entities: AFC Industrial Group, AFC Food Products Group and AFC Specialty Belting Group.
AFC, which was formed in 1988, also has been adding machinery and personnel at its plants over the last year.
Its industrial operation focuses on traditional coating and fabrication; food products consists of the firm's Quick Serve Restaurant products business; and specialty belting concentrates on heat sealers, belt accessories and specialty belting, including highly engineered products.
Family owned and operated, the firm sells its products through distributors and to original equipment manufacturers.
AFC primarily serves industries such as aerospace, flexible packaging, screen printing, textile, polymer manufacturing, food processing, chemical, electronics and communications.
Lewis said the company continues to perform well, despite the fact that 2015 has been a year of transition. Founder Bill Lewis stepped down as president but remained with AFC as CEO and chief operating officer; Chris Lewis, his son, replaced him as president and set up a new leadership team.