SilcoTek expands to new spot at Benner Business Park

In January 2009, SilcoTek started with 12 employees and rented space from Restek.

Now, with 30 employees and time running out on a five-year rental deal with Restek, SilcoTek is breaking ground on a building at Benner Business Park — and it began on Wednesday morning.

SilcoTek is a spin-off company from Restek — a manufacturer of chromatography columns and accessories — that is technologically driven. The company makes and manufactures numerous sealants and coatings used on metal surfaces with fused silicon that prevent corrosion through a chemical vapor deposition process and focuses on developing new treatment technologies for the passivation, anti-coking, automotive, corrosion and ultra-high vacuum markets.

SilcoTek Head Coach and Restek founder Paul Silvis said the new building would be completed by spring. By July, he said, the company will permanently move in.

“Restek allowed us to rent space from them for up to five years,” Silvis said. “In July, it will be four and a half years already and there is simply no more space as we’re expanding.”

The building and land space cost the company $7 million, Silvis said.

“It’s not cheap, but we’re a proud manufacturing company that’s only growing,” Silvis said. “We plan to hire more people in the future because there is a growing need for what we do.”

To continue to expand, Silvis said he uses central Pennsylvania amenities like Penn State’s students and ideas.

“It’s a great place to start a business because it’s a growing place,” Silvis said, “and with Penn State nearby, we’re utilizing what they have to offer.”

Silvis said their relationship with Penn State allows them to bounce ideas off each other concerning the engineering of new materials.

Silvis said SilcoTek was once a part of Restek, but separating the company allowed the team to focus on innovative treatment solutions for chromatography customers and would allow the company to offer previously unavailable technologies to new markets with material limitations.

SilcoTek distributes to gas and engineering firms, automotive and aerospace companies, and other companies worldwide, and has an international office in Germany.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @brmilazzo .