Published in Manufacturing
Jenison manufacturer invests $9M to keep up with surge in thermal packaging demand COURTESY PHOTO

Jenison manufacturer invests $9M to keep up with surge in thermal packaging demand

BY Wednesday, October 13, 2021 04:25pm


JENISON — To meet surging demand for its products, Cellulose Material Solutions LLC is planning a $9 million investment to add a second production line and an expansion at its existing facility in Jenison.

Established in 2006, CMS produces products that range from thermal packaging and acoustical panels to building insulation. All of its products consist of at least 80 percent of recycled content.

The rise in demand for thermal packaging has prompted the expansion, according to Matt Henderson, vice president of CMS.

“Our biggest growth industry is thermal packaging. … We were already on a good trajectory, but COVID really amplified that 500 percent,” Henderson told MiBiz. “Now we’re out of capacity.”

The sizable investment includes an expansion to its facility at 2472 Port Sheldon St. in Jenison, tacking on 54,000 square feet of additional warehouse and manufacturing space and 12,000 square feet of office space.

The company will also implement a second production line that is expected to triple its output of products. Currently, CMS processes around 8 million pounds of recycled material each year, but the new capacity will enable the company to expand to 24 million pounds.

CMS expects the expansion could create 40 new jobs. Henderson acknowledged the labor crunch afflicting the manufacturing industry right now and said that the new production lines will feature more automation.

“Labor, just like with everyone, it’s a big constraint,” Henderson said. “We’re adding increased automation in this line to help reduce the labor, especially compared to our other manufacturing line.”

CMS worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), economic developer Lakeshore Advantage Corp. and Georgetown Township to secure a combination of tax abatements and workforce training funds to support the project.

“Frankly, we were looking at potentially locating this facility on the east coast or west coast based on the size of the customers that we serve, as well as keeping it in Michigan,” Henderson said. “Those incentives helped us make the decision to keep it in Michigan along with the strategic standpoint — our home office is there and we know the talent pool.”

Hudsonville-based Miedema Metal Building Systems Inc. is serving as general contractor for the facility expansion.

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