Raven Industries Inc., the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based maker of films and sheet used in high-altitude balloons, geomembranes and industrial packaging, is expanding the scope of its Engineered Films Division into the reinforced rigid composites market.
The Nasdaq-traded company announced Raven Composites as part of a growth strategy, as part of its Engineered Films Division.
The other new platform area, Raven Autonomy, is intended to drive the company's Applied Technology Division into a leader in autonomous agriculture, building on the unit's existing farm machine visual guidance and steering technology.
The company will build Raven Composites and Raven Autonomy over the next several years.
"The strength of our market positions and technology offerings has never been greater than it is today," President and CEO Dan Rykus said. "Now is the time to leverage our positions in these expanding markets in order to drive significant growth in company performance over the long term."
In the composites initiative, Raven's Engineered Films Division will develop solutions for thinner, lighter and stronger composites for the transportation, construction, automotive and packaging markets. Composites significantly reduce weight from traditional materials like wood, metal and thicker plastics, the company said, while improving appearance, strength, durability and product lifecycle.
Raven has a long history of producing multi-layer reinforced laminated materials, including wide-width products. Rykus said the company is in a strong position to take that expertise into the composites market.
Raven's Engineered Films Division runs a number of seven-layer blown film lines. The most recent one was installed in Sioux Falls in April.
For the past several years, Raven has strategically invested in multilayer films and reinforced flexible composites.
"A move to rigid composites, combined with the company's existing expertise and film materials, is a logical strategic adjacency for Engineered Films," the company said in a news release.
Raven Industries generated 2019 sales of $406.6 million.