Toray Plastics (America) Inc. is adding a new foam production line and extrusion capacity in a $45 million project at the company's Front Royal, Va., site.
The project to make closed-cell, cross-linked polyolefin foam will bring more than two dozen additional jobs to the facility in the years to come, the company said.
Hide Hoketsu is general manager at the facility and said work already has begun on the 65,000-square-foot expansion. New production is expected to be online during the first quarter of 2018.
The expansion is being driven by increased use of the company's foam products in automotive applications, said Technical Director Jesse Baldwin.
“Our product is a soft-touch product that goes into interior trim, instrument panels, door panels. So we make the soft touch material that's underneath the skin. So generally we'll make a foam product and then our customers will laminate either a TPO foil or PVC foil to our foam and then the material gets molded or formed,” he explained.
The automotive industry rebound, as well as the use of the foam in more interior products, is helping drive the growth in Front Royal, Baldwin said.
Production will increase by 160 percent once the project is fully operational, Hoketsu said.
Along with making foams for the automotive and flooring industries, Toray Plastics (America), also produces polyester, polypropylene, bio-based and metalized films.
News of the Front Royal expansion comes about a month after the company said it is constructing a new 28,800-square-foot facility to house a new, high-speed 4.5-meter metalizer in North Kingston, R.I.
“We have had a long and successful relationship with the state of Virginia and to base this new expansion in Front Royal was the best, most logical choice,” said CEO Michael Brandmeier in a statement. “Our existing workforce is the backbone of our business, and we look forward to adding this new capacity and these 30 new jobs over the next several years.”
Key products that will be made on the new line go by the ToraSoft and TorayPEF brand names.
Toray Plastics (America) is a subsidiary of Toray Industries Inc. of Tokyo.