Caterpillar will move its large-hydraulic cylinder production from Joliet, Ill., to Sumter, S.C. The Sumter plant will be expanded to nearly triple its current size. The facility currently manufactures small hydraulic cylinders, and it will become the primary source for both size cylinders for North and South America.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, no announcements were made regarding the resulting effect on jobs in the Joliet facility. The company did say the move will allow Joliet to “focus on increasing production for other components currently produced in Joliet.”
“This expansion is driven by growing demand for Cat products and will position our operations in both Sumter and Joliet to continue to grow and exceed customer needs as we drive toward Caterpillar’s strategy and goals,” said Hans Haefeli, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Advanced Components and Systems Division.
The $20 million expansion plan includes an additional 170,000 square feet, bringing the Sumter facility’s total footprint to approximately 275,000 square feet once complete. When the expansion is fully operational and at full capacity, it is anticipated Caterpillar will add more than 80 jobs over a two-year period.
Work on the expansion will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2012. Hiring is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.