ADS spends $65 million to build Ohio tech hub

Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. is investing $65 million in a major engineering and technology center in Hilliard, Ohio.

Hilliard-based ADS officials announced plans for the 110,000-square-foot center in an Aug. 29 news release. President and CEO Scott Barbour said the center “will be the world’s most advanced stormwater engineering center dedicated to product engineering, materials science, including recycled plastics, and manufacturing technologies.” .

“This new facility will accelerate our development of products designed to capture, transport, store and treat our most precious resource: water,” he added. “At this new center, our team of engineers, scientists and technicians will create sustainable solutions using recycled plastics to improve the quality of life in North American communities.”

ADS plans to begin construction in October on a 17-acre site near the company’s headquarters. The center is expected to open in late 2023.

The expansion of ADS’ engineering and technology operations will allow the company to consolidate all product development and testing operations and manufacturing engineering development in one location. The new center will include:

• A manufacturing lab to develop prototypes and test fixtures.

• A laboratory to analyze the structural behavior of prototypes in different conditions.

• A 3D printing lab to rapidly develop and test concepts.

• An advanced technology laboratory for prototype manufacturing and engineering.

Materials science labs at the center will provide performance-based materials testing capability, analytical tools to generate structural and chemical information, and extrusion capability for next-generation product formulations.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority will grant ADS tax credits for the expansion. In return, the company must invest at least $10.8 million in the project, retain 322 existing jobs in Hilliard and create 200 new jobs that would generate $20 million in new payroll for the state.

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ADS also received assistance from JobsOhio, Ohio’s private economic development corporation, and One Columbus, its regional economic development partner, in selecting the site and connecting ADS with economic development and city partners.

“ADS has been proud to call Hilliard home for two decades,” said Hilliard City Manager Michelle Crandall. “The development of [the new center] demonstrates the company’s continued investment and commitment to our city.”

The Hilliard project is the second investment announced by ADS this year. In March, the firm said it will invest $15 million at its Fairmont, Minn., site to buy 14 acres of land and add manufacturing space.

With $1.5 billion in annual extrusion sales, ADS is the third largest producer of tubes, shapes and pipes in North America, according to Plastics News’ most recent ranking. It is the largest recycler in North America, according to PN rankings

The company manufactures corrugated high-density polyethylene and polypropylene pipe, fittings and other products for water management and drainage uses in the construction, infrastructure and agricultural markets.

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