WILLISTON, S.C.—Dayco Products L.L.C. has earmarked about $2 million to expand its automotive components plant in Williston, upgrading the site's technology and boosting its belt capacity.
The company is adding two machinery lines that will produce timing belts, a sector where it has experienced significant growth. Dayco also plans to add about 15 personnel at the components factory.
A producer of belts, hose, tensioners and pulleys for the automotive, trucking, construction, agricultural and industrial markets, Dayco is expanding the Williston operation because "demand for our products is increasing, and the addition will help our company better serve our customers," said Tom Green, director of North American Operations.
Dayco, a division of Mark IV L.L.C., is adding two lines and new technology at the Williston factory, which spans about 250,000 square feet, according to co-CEO James C. Orchard.
"It's principally a machinery and technology expansion," he said, "but a very important one for us and our customers. We'll bring in new technology that we currently use in Europe for drive systems."
The advanced technology will boost the firm's capabilities to produce belts for the original equipment and aftermarket sectors, he said.
Installation of the lines of machinery likely will be complete in the next eight weeks, Orchard said. Once installed, the new machinery will create the need to expand the company's work force. It will begin hiring to fill the new slots on Aug. 1, with South Carolina agencies—principally the Barnwell SC Works Center—assisting the company with training, he said.
Orchard said the company wants to produce the timing belts locally instead of importing the belts. "The U.S. and North America should have this technology, too."
After adding the new equipment for drive systems, the plant in Williston, which is located in Barnwell County, S.C., and is one of two that Dayco operates in the state, will become the aftermarket and OEM belt center in North America, a company spokesman said.
In addition to helping with training of new employees, state agencies worked closely with the company and the county to support decisions made on the expansion, a South Carolina Department of Commerce spokeswoman said.
"Once a company is here, South Carolina wants to keep them," she said. Dayco's growing operation is in one of the state's rural communities, "and positive impacts of the company's investment there will ripple throughout that community and our entire state."
She said the Commerce Department considers existing industry the same way it does prospective companies.
"Look at Boeing—after five years of operation in South Carolina they are now doubling-down and increasing their commitment to doing business and creating job opportunities in South Carolina."
With operations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia/Pacific Rim, Dayco employs about 3,000 globally.