Troy plant ramps up mask manufacturing

TROY — With the increased demand for disposable masks, one Troy company is expanding its production line adding 50 jobs during the global pandemic.

Congressman Warren Davidson (R-8th District) toured the Novacell Inc. facility in the 400 block of Union Street on Wednesday afternoon. The company is locally known as the Troy Laminating and Coating and is part of the French parent company Chargeurs Company. The company has added two new pieces of production equipment and is waiting on the final two pieces dedicated to manufacturing disposable masks also known as personal protection equipment or PPE for domestic use. According to J.R. Turner, General Manager of Novacel Inc., said with the current two production lines, the facility will churn out 2.5 million masks per month. Once the additional equipment is installed, Turner said that the rate will double to 5 million masks a month.

Following the tour, Davidson shared that it was exciting to see local businesses in his district thrive in the midst of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously it’s a public health crisis that’s turned into an economic crisis. Frankly, even in our civic discourse and public life, people are ready to restore our way of life and rebuild our economic — and this (company) is doing both,” Davidson said. “They are building PPE that our healthcare sector needs and it’s creating jobs right here in the 8th District. It’s a product made heavily offshore, heavily in China and it’s going to be made right here in Troy, Ohio, which is great.”

Turner said, “We are creating up to 50 jobs in manufacturing here through the investment of our parent company Chargeurs. We are able to bring over a million dollars in capital into this facility to revitalize the manufacturing in the area and also to support those 50 jobs and making a product that’s critically needed local, state, and across the country — we’re excited to be part of that and give back to our community.”

Turner thanked Davidson for his support the company received to add the PPE production line to the 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

Davidson, former owner of West Troy Tool, said it was exciting to tour the production facility and learn about how the expansion project came to fruition and how each department like engineering to production are working together.

“It’ll be exciting to come back when you have not just a few people, but maybe dozens of people out here working to go full-scale production, run at rate and good quality checks, and everything going robust,” Davidson said. “I can see how it’s coming together and it’s a bit of a way to live vicariously for something I miss which is being back in the arena making things.”

The company is also part of the city of Troy’s new Employee Creation Incentive Program (ECIP) established earlier this year.

The program provides payroll income tax rebates to qualifying companies. The ECIP will be for six years and its incentive of $50,000 per year has been recommended. The city’s rebate back to Novacell Inc. will be about $9,000 per year for six years.

Representatives from FastLane, one of Ohio’s six Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, attended the tour. FastLane consulted with Novacel to work on expanding the company’s capabilities. Novacel Performance Coatings is a specialty laminate and coating manufacturer in Troy.