A company that supplies carbon-fiber composite-plastic materials to the aerospace industry in customized configurations will build a new plant in Marysville, mainly to supply Boeing’s 777X operation.
Web Industries, headquartered outside Boston, Massachusetts, plans to employ 75 to 100 people once the plant is up to full rate, according to John Jaskot, who runs the company’s Boeing and aerospace operations.
To encourage Web to locate the plant in Washington the Department of Commerce provided the company a $150,000 grant from Gov. Jay Inslee’s economic-development strategic-reserve fund.
In a statement welcoming Web’s announcement, Inslee said the company’s planned investment is “a tremendous addition to one of the most robust carbon fiber composite manufacturing clusters anywhere in the world.”
The new facility, to be built on 12 acres of land, will occupy 75,000 square feet for its composites slitting and winding technology, as well as 9,000 square feet of refrigerated warehousing.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for this spring. The plant will begin operations once the building is constructed, equipment is qualified and employees are trained, all targeted for January 2021.
The company’s technology cuts and spools rolls of aerospace-grade thermoset composite tape to custom sizes ready for use by automated composite-fabrication robots, the sort of machines that Boeing uses to make the composite wings of the 777X in a huge building on its Everett jet-factory site.
Toray Composite Materials America in Frederickson, south of Tacoma makes the raw spools of carbon-fiber composite tape used by Boeing for composite parts. Spools used to build parts of the 787 fuselage and the wings of the 777X are currently transported from Toray in freezer trucks across the country to Web’s plant in Atlanta, Ga. After processing, the material for the 777X wings is transported from there back to the Puget Sound region while the material for the 787 is shipped to Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, S.C.; to Spirit Aerospace, in Wichita, Kan.; and to Leonardo, in Grottaglie, Italy.
Refrigeration at minus 10 F is necessary to ensure the chemical stability of some raw composite materials before final processing.
The new plant will reduce freight-transportation time between Web and the 777X wing plant to less than 30 minutes, and to roughly two hours between Web and Toray, the company said.
Web Industries Chief Executive Mark Pihl said Boeing and Toray are expected to see improved affordability and sustainable competitive advantages.
“There are benefits associated with lower transportation, packaging and inventory costs, as well as reduced lead times,” Pihl said.
Don Myers, director of aerospace sales at Toray, said Web has been a long-standing partner.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Web Industries as they start up their facility in Marysville,” Myers said.
Patrick Pierce, Chief Executive of Economic Alliance Snohomish County, said in a statement that Web Industries is the first sizable composites formatter in the region “and we expect others to follow.”
“We also anticipate that Web’s expertise will have applications in industries outside of aerospace,” Pierce said.
In addition to the aerospace market, Web also supplies the telecom, power and energy, textile, medical and transportation industries.
Clarification: This story was updated after receiving late information from the company about precisely which Boeing programs Web Industries supplies with formatted carbon fiber tape.