Ikonics adds more space for its materials business unit

The new production floor will be able to accommodate five robots as well as other automated equipment for machining carbon fiber composites and more.

Ikonics (Duluth, MN, US) plans to expand its advanced materials solutions (AMS) business unit that produces products for the aerospace and electronics industries. 

The new 27,300-square-foot structure will contain a 20,500-square-foot production floor in addition to offices and ancillary facilities. The building will be an addition to the company 37,000-square-foot building on its Morgan Park site in western Duluth, which currently houses AMS production, warehousing, shipping and film conversion for all Ikonics business units. All AMS activities will relocate to the new facility.

The new production floor will be able to accommodate five robots as well as other automated equipment for machining carbon fiber composites, electronic wafers and other advanced materials, such as graphite, ceramic matrix composites and Kevlar. Equipment will be added as needed.

Groundbreaking is estimated for early July of this year, with occupancy expected in April 2016.

Sue Boudrie, AMS operations manager, said this new space and equipment will increase AMS' production capacity and result in a more efficient manufacturing work flow. "Most importantly, it allows us to participate in the strong-growth of commercial aviation with more than 30,000 new aircraft estimated to be produced over the next 20 years and the increasing utilization of composite materials in these aircraft, primarily for weight reduction, where our technology has important applications."

For this expansion, Ikonics received a $507,000 award from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development through the Minnesota Job Creation Fund.

"With this award, and our strong cash position, we plan to finance this building with little or no borrowing, although the acquisition of additional equipment may require taking on some debt," said Bill Ulland, Ikonics CEO. "In addition to adding aerospace jobs to the Duluth economy, this expansion is part of our plan to diversify Ikonics sales into large dynamic markets befitting a publicly traded corporation.”