Manufacturing UpdateSept. 3, 2012

Innovation driving small companies

Medtronic, junior college collaborate on machining coursework

Manufacturing: Plant expansions head toward completion

North Bay manufacturers EO Products, Biosearch Technologies and Anette's Chocolates are expanding their production plants this summer and fall.

Petaluma-based commercial general contractor McDevitt & McDevitt Construction received permits in late August and started improvements in a former Industrial Light & Magic building in San Rafael for a larger, higher-capacity plant for EO Products. Jim Ford of The Fifth Resource in Cotati is consulting on the project. [See "Manufacturing Awards 2012: Made in Marin: EO Products," July 16, and "EO Products still 'made in Marin,'" May 28.]

"Things are starting to progress rapidly," said Steve Fox, EO chief financial officer.

The Corte Madera-based maker of personal care products with ingredients deemed holistic worked with Marin Municipal Water District on a plan to reduce process water consumption by 80 percent. The system is set to be installed in early September. EO is planning to have moved into the new plant by Oct. 1.

 "We’re very excited about our new facility," Mr. Fox said. An open house is in the works for late October.

Novato-based life science tools maker Biosearch Technologies is gearing up to start improvements on its 100,000-square-foot new headquarters and labs in south Petaluma and upgraded labs in Novato. The company plans to move the headquarters early next year. [See "Biosearch plans big Petaluma expansion," Aug. 13.]

"We’re in the plancheck process on both projects," said Daren Dick, chief operating officer.

The company hired Devcon Construction as the general contractor for the Petaluma project and will be overseeing the Novato portion itself. Mr. Ford of The Fifth Resource also is managing Biosearch's projects.

Napa-based Anette's Chocolates received building permits in mid-August and construction has started on a larger, higher-capacity factory in south Napa, according to co-owner and namesake Anette Yazidi. She expects the project will be completed by the end of October. [See "Napa confectioner plans larger factory," June 11.]

Another recent manufacturer expansion was for Langers of Sonoma's new bottling plant in southwest Santa Rosa. An affiliate of City of Industry-based Langer Juice Co. in January purchased a 54,500-square-foot former JSDU building at 2789 Northpoint Pkwy. The goal was to have the new bottling line in use this summer. [See "Langer investing in Santa Rosa for Sonoma label," Feb. 6.]•••

Send items for this column to Jeff Quackenbush at or 707-521-4256.