By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News
Cadillac, Michigan-Avon Rubber plc is laying the groundwork to expand its operations in Cadillac if it receives a contract to produce gas masks for the US military.
The UK rubber and plastics moulder has already won the first two parts of the contract to make the masks, including the design, development and testing of the protective gear, said Jayne Hunt, spokeswoman for the company based in Bradford on Avon, England.
The third phase of the contract will be awarded in May 2005.
The Cadillac site does both rubber and plastics molding, mostly for the auto industry. The firm has cleared room from the auto product development center there for its technical products group and for pilot manufacturing of 5,000 masks for testing purposes.
The masks are lighter and more comfortable than the current generation, Hunt said.
Avon is seeking tax abatements from the city and the state of Michigan to help cover eventual start-up costs. Full details on what the company would add to its capacity in Michigan will depend on both final contract selection and the current development study taking place, she said.