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US manufacturer expands with new facility in Idaho
US electronics manufacturer, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, says that it is planning to build a 140'000 square-foot facility on a piece of land it recently purchased southwest of Moscow, Idaho.
The building will be home to a plant for fabricating printed circuit boards - vital parts of the products SEL manufactures to protect, monitor, control and automate electric power systems. The company currently plans to break ground during the spring of 2021 and complete the construction process by mid 2022. “As a former hardware engineer, I am really excited about adding this capability to our already amazing manufacturing capabilities,” says Dave Whitehead, chief executive officer, in a press release. “Circuit boards are one of the most engineered components we design. Bringing them in-house allows us more freedom to experiment and innovate. Instead of ordering them from across the country, we’ll be making them just seven miles down the road!” The company's engineers and specialists design all the PCBs used in SEL products, but they are fabricated by several U.S. suppliers. Now the company is moving towards local in-house manufacturing aiming to provide itself and its customers with higher supply chain security. “Printed circuit boards are custom and critical components,” adds Edmund O. Schweitzer III, president, founder and chief technology officer. “Building our own shortens our supply chain, reduces risk and advances quality. This is great news for our company and our customers. It’s a dream come true!” SEL is working with PCB manufacturer GreenSource Fabrication in New Hampshire to design the facility and manufacturing processes. “This will be the most modern, environmentally friendly and safe PCB manufacturing facility in the United States—maybe the world,” continues Schweitzer. “This is great for our employee owners, our customers, our community and the environment. It also represents opportunity for us all.” SEL anticipates starting up with current employees, and then expand as the operation gets up and running.