Local Business

Illinois Blower expands in Cary to meet increasing industrial fan demand

Partnership with GE Transportation driving manufacturer's growth

CARY – A Cary-based company that makes industrial fans and blowers is expanding its space and workforce within the village to meet an increased workload.

Manufacturer Illinois Blower nearly is finished with renovations to a building at 740 Industrial Drive, Cary, that gives the company about 30,000 extra square feet for manufacturing operations, said Rick Bursh, vice president for business development. Illinois Blower has been headquartered at a 45,000-square-foot building, 750 Industrial Drive, since the mid-1980s.

The expansion helps Illinois Blower keep up with changing markets and increased demands from customers, Bursh said.

"Our business has expanded over the past year to the point that we started to lease space at 740 Industrial," he said. "More and more, we took over the existing space and reworked it for manufacturing."

Now employing close to 100 people, the Cary company has seen increased demand for its industrial fans through a deal with the General Electric Company's transportation division.

The manufacturer also needed extra room in Cary after closing a manufacturing site last year in China to focus on a growing North American customer base.

Business with power generation companies had slowed down in China, allowing Illinois Blower to focus on a re-emerging North American market that had been stagnate for more than a decade, Bursh said.

"We are seeing a lot of business in our area come back domestically where it hadn't been," he said.

Illinois Blower engineers and makes industrial fans and blowers primarily for companies that deal in the oil and gas, power generation and transportation industries. The deal with GE Transportation supplies the Chicago-based division with industrial fans for its freight and passenger locomotives, Bursh said.

To accommodate expanded operations in Cary, Illinois Blower already has added roughly 30 new employees to its ranks. The company now rents about half the space at its second location along Industrial Drive.

Renovations should conclude by May, Bursh said.

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