Firm that strengthens metal parts to double size of its Camas facility

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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Bodycote-IMT, which strengthens metal parts for aerospace and medical device manufacturers, is more than doubling the size of its Camas facility.

The company just started work on the project, which will add 17,300 square feet to its 17,000-square-foot facility at 4605 N.W. Pacific Rim Blvd., said Phil Bourquin, community development director for the City of Camas. The expansion is to be completed by midsummer, said Lee Scott, the company's quality control manager. He said Bodycote has about 63 employees, and could add more jobs as the company expands.

Scott said business has been booming since before 2008 among companies that need Bodycote's specialty services. The company uses hot isostatic pressing, or HIP, equipment similar to a large pressure cooker. It's used to make alloys and metals more dense by removing air bubbles before the material cools. The denser materials are then used by parts manufacturers for several industries, including aerospace and medical device makers.

"We can't keep up (with the need)," Scott said. "We have a large quantity of customers out there."

Bodycote operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with employees working day, swing and graveyard shifts. The company has two weekend crews.

Bodycote-IMT is owned by Bodycote, which is based in the United Kingdom and owns more than 175 facilities in 27 countries. The company is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and made $88 million in net income in 2011, according to company records.