Bloom Enhances Supply Chain by Adding Vital & FHR North America as Supplier
Bloom Energy relies on many suppliers to support the production of its solid oxide fuel cells and hydrogen electrolyzers. On June 28, it added one more, Vital & FHR North America, which unveiled a new facility in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Drawing on locally sourced, flexible American manufacturing, Bloom is able to bring its supply chain closer to its world-class manufacturing hubs in Delaware and California, helping enhance Bloom’s ability to meet the demands of its growing global customer base and bringing the world closer to a net-zero energy future.
A number of local dignitaries and Vital executives were present at the Vital/FHR open house at the new facility, including Bowling Green Mayor Mike Aspacher, as well as Michael Xiong, Managing Director of the Americas, Vital & FHR North America, and Mark Zhu, President of Vital Thin Film Materials. Satish Chitoori, Bloom Energy’s Senior Vice President, Head of Global Procurement and Supply Chain, also attended, as well as representatives from government, universities, and contractors. After the ribbon cutting, all were invited to tour the Vital/FHR Bowling Green office and production areas.
The company, a subsidiary of Vital Materials, makes materials and vacuum coating systems for a wide range of uses, including solar, display, automotive, MEMS, sensors, photonics, and wearable/decorative products, and it will use that expertise to provide manufacturing services to Bloom. Vital’s investment at Bowling Green is designed to reduce its inventory costs, shorten lead times, and secure critical supply chains for key customers like Bloom. The new facility will also serve as an engineering center of excellence for next-generation medical imaging devices.
“The grand opening of the Vital/FHR Bowling Green site is a key milestone for Vital Group’s expansion into North America,” said Xiong. “We will continue to invest heavily in our global manufacturing footprint and R&D, enabling Bloom Energy to achieve tomorrow’s clean energy platforms, with a reliable and cost competitive supply chain.”
As Bloom has repeatedly noted in its regulatory filings, its supply chain has grown to include high-quality suppliers that support automotive, semiconductor and other traditional manufacturing organizations in the United States, Asia, Europe and India. Its operations require raw materials and, sometimes, services that require special manufacturing processes.
Although shocks to supply chains were common during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloom’s supplier base and supply chain remained strong, resulting in no significant supplier disruptions and no impact on manufacturing or delivering its American made goods to its customers. As head of Global Procurement and Supply Chain at Bloom Energy, Chitoori works to strengthen and enhance supply chains, preventing disruptions and limiting impact on operations and costs. He was pleased to welcome Vital/FHR to the ranks of Bloom suppliers on June 28.
“Bloom is constantly working to expand and improve its supply chain, both in the U.S. and abroad,” Chitoori said. “Adding Vital/FHR will support the growth in demand that we are seeing for the Bloom Energy Server, our fuel cell platform, and prepare us to meet the building interest in the Bloom Electrolyzer.”