HOLLAND — A West Michigan manufacturer of factory automation systems plans to expand a satellite location in South Carolina.
The $2.2 million investment from Holland-based Koops Inc. could create roughly 20 new jobs at a new facility in Greenville, S.C., about 30 miles west of Spartanburg, where BMW has a manufacturing plant. The company hopes to add machine assembly and machinists positions with the expansion.
“There’s been a lot of demand in our business, particularly in the automotive side with some of the European transplant OEMs — BMW, Volvo and companies like that — so we are expanding in a larger building down there,” said Mike Slager, sales and marketing lead at Koops’ Holland location.
Slager said sales for the employee-owned Koops have grown “significantly” over the last few years to align with growing consumer demands.
“It’s just really exciting for us to be growing and changing because we can attribute that to the effort and success of the employees and the company we built together,” he said. “The expansion down in South Carolina is due to increased demand, yes, but it also speaks volumes to the team down there and their level of ownership and commitment.”
Koops is a full-service systems integrator that offers in-house services such as 3-D mechanical design, controls design, project management, and machining for the automotive, aerospace and medical device industries.
According to a statement, the company’s new building is expected to be completed in July 2018.
Through the expansion, Koops received development credits from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development.
Companies like Koops in West Michigan and nationwide have been seizing growth opportunities as the demand for automation equipment from the manufacturing sector continues to grow.
According to the latest Robotics Industry Association (RIA) report, robot shipments in the first quarter this year reached a record high of 10,730, up 22 percent from the first quarter of 2017.
Most notably, the RIA notes that the “the automation industry continues to grow robustly as companies invest to increase productivity and quality while boosting competitiveness and also providing opportunities for workers.”
“We are so excited to move into the new facility,” Koops CEO Paul Brinks said in a statement. “This state-of-the-art building will help us better serve our customers’ needs and will allow us to increase our automation output. Greenville County has proved to be a lively, growing and business-friendly industrial environment that is suitable as a home for Koops Inc.’s growth into the future.”