A growing Phenix City company that makes an advanced fabric used in watercraft, sports and recreation products, and in the aerospace and transportation industries has completed a major expansion of its South Railroad Street facility.
Vectorply Corp. said Thursday its “Advanced Composite Reinforcement Center” is now officially up and running, with the 53,000-square-foot space housing multiple activities and departments. That includes a 38,000-square-foot manufacturing area specifically for its “VectorUltra” product line called “advanced carbon multiaxial reinforcements.”
The expansion also includes 6,000 square feet for the company’s technical services and engineering department, to include a laboratory, and 9,000 square feet for its sales and service operation. It did not disclose the capital expenditure on the new structure, which is dedicated to Donald L. Massey, Vectorply’s founder and chief executive officer. Started in 1992, the company originally was named Tech Textiles, USA.
“This investment is important on many levels as it will give us the facilities and capacity to continue our rapid growth of non-crimp fabrics,” Trey Sawtelle, co-president of the company, said in a statement. “This facility will be at the forefront of innovation of advanced carbon reinforcements, which will allow our customers to produce cutting-edge composite parts.”
Vectorply now employs 152 people, it said Thursday, which is up from 129 on its payroll in January. The company’s annual payroll now tops $8.5 million, with it saying it expects to hire more than 50 workers “in the coming years” as the market grows for its products.
Anyone venturing out in a boat on Lakes Oliver, Harding, Eufaula and West Point very well could be benefiting from the company’s fabrics, which reinforce the watercraft hulls for brands that include Malibu Boats, Correct Craft (Nautique) and Viking Yachts, the company said. Its materials made with carbon, aramid and e-glass can be found in airplanes, bridge beams and sports and recreation items such as snowboards.
Vectorply said it has recently hired in key areas to support its expansion. That includes Mandy Pierce as a customer service team leader, Paul Shiver as process improvement manager and Leigh Nolen as composite materials test engineer. In July, Jay Woodrow will become the company’s quality assurance manager.