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Growing Champaign tech company moving to bigger building | Business

CHAMPAIGN – Starfire Industries, an 18-year-old Champaign technology company, plans to move in the fall and expand with a new manufacturing facility.

Starfire has purchased the former 194,000 square foot Patterson Dental building at 3310 N. Duncan Road, C for $7.2 million and will establish its new 194,000 square foot manufacturing facility there.

The company is currently housed in a 14,000 square foot facility at {span class=”LrzXr”}2109 S. Oak St., C in the University of Illinois Research Park.

“We decided to think big,” said Starfire President and CEO Brian Jurczyk.

The move will represent a total project of $9.4 million, including building purchase, new equipment and construction costs, he said.

Starfire also plans to install solar panels through First Solar, one of its customers, Jurczyk said.

The move will allow for increased manufacturing and research and development capabilities and create at least 22 new full-time jobs, he said.

Jurczyk describes the former Patterson Building as a “unique space with a combination of office, engineering, manufacturing and distribution that will support Starfire’s growth for years to come.”

Starfire, which was started by Jurczyk and Robert Stubbers in 2004 in the research park’s EnterpriseWorks technology business incubator, is described as a “deep tech” company focused on nuclear and plasma technologies serving semiconductors , nuclear, aerospace, medical, environment, energy, mining, automotive and security industries.

Stubbers, the company’s vice president and chief technology officer, said the new facility will also provide space for a pilot line production system to process long, difficult-to-handle fuel cladding.

“We invented and patented a new way to apply a thin coating to nuclear fuel rods to make them safer and have superior properties that improve the efficiency of nuclear power plants,” Jurczyk said. “The new building will give us the manufacturing space to build an online system. Basically we put a rod on one end and take out the coated rod on the other side.

Among the company’s products are the nGen and Centurion ultra-compact particle accelerators used for medical therapy, environmental sensing, nuclear security and nondestructive imaging, according to Starfire’s announcement of its upcoming move.

Starfire also produces products called Impulse and Radion, described as “pulsed power plasma sources and systems used in nuclear fuel fabrication, superconducting coatings, solid-state extreme ultraviolet lithography, electric vehicle assembly lightweight, high temperature aerospace materials and thin film deposition and etch applications. ”

Jurczyk said Starfire considered moving to property in Texas, but opted to stay in Champaign with the help of an Illinois Economic Development Tax Credit program for a growing economy, or EDGE. .

Plus, he said, “we love the community.”

“Our community has a lot of incredibly smart and talented people,” he said.

In addition to creating 20 new full-time jobs, Starfire’s Champaign expansion plans currently retain 20 full-time jobs and support 12 part-time engineering and professional co-op jobs, according to the company.

Starfire has customers who use its products on six continents and in space, according to Jurczyk. The company expects annual sales of $10 million for this year, up from $7.5 million last year and $5 million in 2020, he said.

“We have growth in all segments of our business,” Jurczyk said.

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