While the economy continues to contract, at least one manufacturer is expanding. Hudsonville, Mich.-based Royal Technologies Corp. said Feb. 18 it plans to construct a new manufacturing facility in Cullman County, Ala., that will serve the company's growing customer base in the Southeast.

The location, situated off of I-65 between Birmingham and Huntsville in the northern portion of the state, provides the diversified manufacturer of office products such as chair backs and automotive interior components the ability to better serve its existing customer base in the South and offers Royal additional new business growth opportunities, says company founder and owner Jim Vander Kolk

"This new development will only strengthen Royal Technologies and help us insure the future viability of the jobs in Michigan and the new jobs we anticipate creating in Cullman," Vander Kolk says.

Royal is purchasing 26.6 acres of land where it plans to construct a building for plastic injection molding, assembly, decorating, and foam molding. The Alabama operation will be the first Royal facility outside of western Michigan.

The land acquisition should position Royal to be ready "to expand quickly" when the economy rebounds, Vander Kolk says.

A groundbreaking date has not yet been scheduled.