Michigan company to expand into Fort Smith, add 30 manufacturing jobs

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,608 views 

Livonia, Mich.-based Applied Process has acquired a 51,000-square-foot building in Fort Smith to expand its metal heat treatment business. The more than $2.5 million investment by the company is expected to create “at least” 30 jobs.

Company officials made the announcement Tuesday (Feb. 13), saying the plant should be operational by the third quarter of this year and will handle orders from the midwest and south.

“We are very excited to announce our expansion in Fort Smith,” Applied CeO Harold Karp said in a statement. “Record sales performance in 2016 and 2017, combined with a strong new product forecast, make this the right time to expand.”

Rusty Rainbolt, who has been with Applied Process for three years on the sales team, will manage the Fort Smith plant. He holds bachelor’s degrees in engineering and marketing from Oklahoma State University.

“Rusty’s engineering, sales and product experience, along with a strong, experienced leadership team, will ensure a smooth start-up of the new facility,” Karp said.

The company has plants in Livonia and Oshkosh, Wisc., that handle orders from customers in the automotive, agriculture, aerospace, heavy truck, railroad, mining industries, as well as the military. The Oshkosh facility houses the world’s largest integral quench batch austempering furnace which is capable of austempering parts up to 20,000 pounds in weight, according to the company. Compared to more traditional heat treatment methods, austempering makes iron and steel components stronger, tougher, lighter and more wear-resistant.

“Working with the Applied Process team on their site search for the past year has been a pleasure. We were able to introduce them to Fort Smith and find the perfect location for their specific needs,” said Tim Allen, President and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The community was a perfect match for the company’s expansion requirements and they will be a great complement to the area.”