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Renosol May Add 120 New Jobs in Composite Auto Springs Plant Here

Hearing Last Monday OKd Portsmouth Township Industrial Development District

January 25, 2009       1 Comments
By: Dave Rogers

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Bay County may be the production site for an innovative new automotive parts component -- truck leaf springs made of composite materials instead of steel.

After a public hearing last Monday at 5 p.m., the Portsmouth Township Board approved creation of an Industrial Development District (IDD) for the company. If the Portsmouth site is selected from among three choices, an proposal for tax breaks may be the next step for Renosol Corporation of Saline, Michigan.

Fred Hollister, CEO, and Megan Trask, both of Bay Future Inc., represented the company at the hearing, according to township officials.

The company has a 45,000 square foot plant on River Road (M-13) near James Clements Airport with about 40 workers producing automotive dunnage, molded polyurethane sporting goods and automotive beta and NVH foam parts.

The plant, that dates to 1964 when it was established as a wooden truss manufacturing site for Bay Wood Homes, has room for the projected $2 million in equipment and 120 new workers on composite springs, according to company officials.

Renosol custom engineers and manufactures polyurethane systems, specialty molded polyurethane products, material handling systems and rotationally molded polyethylene products.

The 2008 Ford Mustang uses soy-based polyurethane foam seats and the firm has partnered with the Dow Chemical Company to produce a prize-winning technical paper noting that foams lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions during the foaming process as well as when vehicles are in use.

"With experience dating back to the 1950s, Renosol continues expanding its technological base to provide customers with innovative solutions," says company president Larry Adkisson.

According to industry sources, composite springs offer many advantages over traditional steel springs including lower prices. An estimated 60 percent weight savings over steel leaves is offered and composite springs do not lose structure with age as do steel leaves and do not rust or corrode. The composite material also allows a greater range of spring rates with vastly superior ride and handling characteristics.

Renosol Corporation was formed in 1981 from the Chemical Specialties Division of Hoover Universal. Its core business consisted of custom compounding vinyl plastisol formulations and polyurethane systems.

Since its founding, Renosol has expanded its product line to include molded polyurethane seating, headrest, armrest and console cushions, material handling dunnage and rotationally molded polyethylene and plastisol products.

Renosol led the industry in commercializing non-ozone-depleting integral skin systems, part of an ongoing effort to protect the environment. Additional efforts have included registration to ISO-14001, the international environmental management standard, in the Bay City and Farwell, Michigan, manufacturing facilities.

Renosol is now a group of companies specializing in specific product groups, all of which are headquartered in Saline, Michigan.

Renosol, in collaboration with Lear Corporation, Ford Motor Company, The United Soybean Board - New Uses Committee, Urethane Soy Systems Company and Bayer Corporation, has developed a soy-based polyurethane system for use in 2008 Ford Mustang seats.

Mustang seating contains a 5 percent soy-based polyol, compared with most polyurethane seating, which contains 100 percent petroleum-based material. Not only does soy foam reduce dependence on critical energy markets, but - according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - soy polyols have only one-quarter the level of total environmental impact of petroleum-based ingredients. Soy is also readily renewable.

Soy-based polyurethane foam can be used in a wide range of automotive and non-automotive applications, and in both TDI-and MDI-based formulations.

Renosol is always interested in talking to energetic, positive people with strong skills in manufacturing, R&D, sales and finance, firm officials said. If interested in a position at Renosol Corporation, Adams/Renosol or Renosol Systems, L.L.C., email your resume to: ###

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