Hollingsworth Visits Franklin Mill Expansion
The U.S. congressman representing Johnson County visited a factory in Franklin on Thursday morning to discuss the changes and growth.
On his second visit to the facility, Representative Trey Hollingsworth toured the IBC Advanced Alloys factory and learned about the copper alloy manufacturer’s expansion. The congressman spoke to business leaders as employees hammered copper plates and carved copper alloy pieces from glowing metals.
Given its history in the manufacture of aluminum, Hollingsworth asked specific questions about the production of the plant. IBC, located at 401 Arvin Drive, manufactures copper and copper-based alloys for industries such as defense, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications and precision manufacturing.
IBC is in the process of completing a $ 5.5 million expansion on 32,000 square feet. The company will close a plant in Pennsylvania and condense these operations at the Franklin headquarters. The change is expected to create 25 jobs over the next five years, paying between $ 20.96 and $ 38.55 an hour, including benefits, according to city documents.
Construction on the extension has started and is expected to be completed in November, said Jim Sims, a spokesperson for the company.
Hollingsworth last visited the facility in 2019, when the expansion was just a dream, company president Mark Wolma said. Since then, the company has improved its technology and started to work out the framework for the expansion.
“It’s such good news to see, you know, the excitement here, the energy here and obviously the continued investment here,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth has contacted IBC to see the progress, Sims said.
“It asks among the most detailed questions how we operate, what we manufacture, what the problems are. And in my experience, a lot of politicians don’t do that, ”Sims said.
Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett accompanied the tour on Thursday. The upcoming addition is partially supported by the city. Franklin City Council approved two tax breaks for IBC in February. The city has helped IBC grow, Wolma said.
“They just helped every step of the way with great communication,” he said. “We’ve been talking about this project for a lot longer than we’ve been doing, and they’ve always been patient with us. “
IBC is one of the few domestic manufacturers of copper alloys, said Rajeev Jain, vice president of sales. The company ships copper materials to countries around the world, including China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and throughout Europe.
Copper alloy parts are used in aircraft carriers, submarines and products used for space applications and in government laboratories. The company also creates products for commercial use, such as auto parts and molding materials for plastic products.
The enlargement will increase the efficiency. The raw materials will be made at the Franklin plant, rather than in Pennsylvania, Sims said.