Custom Coating move to a larger facility with increasing demand for utility covers

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Illinois-based Custom Coating Innovations Inc. (CCI) Moves Electric Blanket Manufacturing Plant from Lebanon to Former Newspaper Distribution Plant in Belleville to Increase Production Space for High-Demand Utility Equipment due to forest fires, wildlife and wild weather.

The dip moulder has 14 employees who produce tab, cutout and utility lids from a proprietary self-extinguishing plastisol material called ZEROflame. The covers, which are also wind resistant, protect components of power lines, telecommunication lines and aviation equipment from fires, hurricanes, birds, squirrels, insect infestations and other problems.

Demand for CCI products is on the rise from utility companies in California and other states where wildfires have spiraled out of control. High winds from hurricanes and tropical storms are causing increased orders from Florida and Texas, according to CCI’s director of operations John Sova.

“Wind tunnel testing shows that our blankets withstand at least a Category 4 hurricane, in terms of speed. We sell a lot in the southeast,” Sova said. “That’s why our location is perfect. We are in the middle of the United States ”

CCI is not moving far from the 15,000 square foot facility in Lebanon which has been its base for 10 years. The company bought a property about 12 miles away that originally housed the printing operation for the Belleville News-Democrat (BND). The new site has more than double the space and is spread over 3 acres with room to grow if needed.

CCI has paid approximately $ 680,000 for the property and will invest more in the factory and head office, BND said.

“The ultimate goal is to turn this into a 24-hour, five-day-a-week operation,” Sova said, adding that the company would consider tripling its workforce in this case.

CCI products improve network reliability by preventing arcing and reducing the risk of fire as well as moisture, corrosion, insect habitats and bird ‘poop trails’, the latter of which can cause flashovers, the company’s website says.

One of CCI’s first innovations was the addition of a fluorescent orange colored cover option for utility poles to prevent helicopters from hitting them.

“They go up the mountainside with these poles,” Sova said. “They are now sending drones out to do remote reconnaissance and make sure everything is okay.”

To support the new manufacturing plant, Belleville City Council has agreed to give CCI $ 75,000 in tax breaks if the company invests $ 1.5 million in the purchase and renovation of the complex by May 1, 2022, and also retains the current 14 employees and adds at least two full-time positions in its first year of operation and two more in its second year.

CCI officials expect to complete the move to Belleville by the end of the year. The company plans to set up a machine shop and has set a goal of producing dip-molded samples within two weeks of a customer requesting custom covers.


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