Flambeau receives tax abatement

A thermoplastics manufacturer is receiving a deduction on new equipment for a Columbus facility.

The Columbus City Council approved a tax abatement Tuesday for Flambeau, Inc. It is a personal property tax abatment on “an investment of $700,000 for new manufacturing equipment,” said Robin Hilber, city community development assistant director.

The company will save about $40,000 over the 10-year abatement period. According to a letter from Flambeau Controller Hugh Cunningham, the company plans to expand operations at its 4325 Middle Road facility, and the project will require installing new equipment.

The expansion will result in the retention of 120 jobs, as well as the addition of 10 new jobs by the end of the year. The new jobs are expected to have an average wage of $15.65 per hour.

For several years, Flambeau has outsourced pieces of its manufacturing process “due to an inability to keep up with the demand,” the company stated in its incentive application.

Specifically, Cunningham told city council that the outsourcing was due to “press capacity.”

The new equipment should help bring the outsourced business back to Columbus, Cunningham said, while also bringing in new business and opening up “automotive opportunities.” The company’s paperwork described the manufacturing equipment as a new press and “related auxiliary equipment.”

Councilman Tom Dell thanked the company for its contribution to the community.

“We appreciate you making this investment here and wanting to enhance your operations in Columbus and employ a lot of folks in Columbus,” he said.

Flambeau has recently been focusing on a “company-wide expansion of capabilities” for manufacturing facilities in both North America and the United Kingdom, company officials said.

“A world-wide economic slowdown due to the COVIE-19 pandemic was generally anticipated in the manufacturing industry, but for Flambeau it led to a rapidly increasing company-wide backlog of orders,” company officials said. “Just months into the slowdown, Flambeau’s supply chain began to reach its limits, and demand for vital parts began to overwhelm supply.”

In Columbus, one of the responses to this backlog was for the plant to up its hours of operation. Increases in demand for plastic parts also led to the purchase of new equipment. In addition, the facility adopted “a revitalized production scheduling methodology.” In 90 days, the backlog was reduced by 75%, according to company officials.

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Flambeau, Inc is a thermoplastics manufacturer with headquarters located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It was established in 1947 and has facilities in multiple countries.

More information about Flambeau, Inc is available at flambeau.com.