MARYVILLE, Mo.—When Bolder Industries L.L.C. founder and CEO Tony Wibbeler set out to significantly boost the company's manufacturing and technical capabilities in the last year, he did so with an eye on both the present and future.
The manufacturer of BolderBlack—a key ingredient used for sustainable rubber and plastic products—recently broke ground on a 17,000-sq.-ft. addition at its Maryville production facility and hopes to complete the expansion in February 2021. The plant currently spans about 27,000 square feet and sits on five acres.
It also is adding machinery at the site to significantly increase the firm's capacity and allow it to handle increased demand for its products. "This expansion will increase our capacity nearly three times our current capability in each of our product lines," Wibbeler said.
Part of his plan began to take shape in mid-March when the company started building the equipment Bolder would need in order to grow. In May, the company said it had increased its investment in the firm's technical expertise, physical laboratory space and leadership team at its rubber development and compounding center in Punta Gorda, Fla.
Wibbeler estimated the cost of both the addition and new machinery at about $14 million.
He noted the project could create about 10 advanced manufacturing jobs at the plant in the near future. The firm currently has a work force of approximately 30, although that figure is down some because of COVID-19.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., the company is a pioneer in converting end-of-life tires into carbon black alternatives and petrochemicals with minimal waste, Wibbeler said, adding that its flagship product, BolderBlack, is a less expensive, more sustainable alternative to virgin carbon black.