TODA expands warehouse, production space in Battle Creek

TODA America has outgrown the space it built four years ago in the Fort Custer Industrial Park. Now it is expanding on the east and west ends of the building.

TODA will add 14,000 square feet in warehouse and production space at 4750 W. Dickman Road. The expansion is slated to be finished by the spring 2015. By the end of 2015 the company expects to be at full production, producing approximately 4,000 tons per year of high quality cathode materials.

The company expects to add full-time employees once the addition is complete.

The company manufactures lithium-ion cathode material, used in power tools, computers, wind power projects, energy storage systems, though it is primarily known for its use in cars.

“We do not make the actual battery--our facility produces the material that goes into the positive end of the battery,” says plant manager Jose Garrido.

“Our product is custom made for our customers” says senior engineering manager Yoshi Narabayashi. “Because their needs are sophisticated, the timeline from product development to delivery is much longer than the traditional manufacturing processes.”  

TODA has worked with its customers to identify the direction the company needs to go.  “Our product portfolio is 40 percent automotive, 60 percent energy storage systems  including windmills, telecommunications and solar panels,” Narabayashi says.

Battle Creek Unlimited marketing director Doug Voshell has worked with TODA America since the Japanese company first began its search for their investment in the United States in 2009. He says TODA has found a pool of qualified candidates working with MiWORKS and will take advantage of the Skilled Trades Training Fund which will include training at Kellogg Community College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center to will provide ongoing professional development for TODA employees.

TODA is not the only business that is growing in the Fort Custer Industrial Park. Battle Creek Unlimited, the economic development organization serving the Battle Creek area reports another 45 companies have expanded in the Fort Custer Industrial Park since 2009, including five new companies with total investment approaching $400 million.

Source: Doug Voshell, Battle Creek Unlimited