New Georg Fischer piping site gets 'Tanked'

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: August 1, 2014 1:21 pm ET
Updated: August 1, 2014 1:29 pm ET

Image By: Georg Fischer LLC Georg Fischer LLC is building a huge aquarium at its California facility in order to educate customers about some of the plastic pipes, tubes and valves it makes.

Related to this story

Topics Plumbing

A huge aquarium under construction at a new California facility for Georg Fischer LLC will help educate school customers about some of the plastic pipes, tubes and valves made by the business unit of Switzerland-based Georg Fischer AG.

It will make a splash with television viewers too.

A crew from the hit reality show “Tanked” filmed the aquarium installation for an episode of the Animal Planet series expected to air on Oct. 10.

In its fourth season, the show follows the antics of the family that owns Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) as they build some of the world’s most specialized custom aquariums and exhibits. Think giant tanks in shapes of a gumball machine for a diner, treasure chest for a children’s hospital, and prop for escape artist Harry Houdini with a life-size statue of the late magician upside underwater wearing a straight jacket and ankle shackles. That one was for actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Now think even bigger, like a 1 million-gallon holding facility for dolphins at Sea World. The chain of marine theme parks happens to be a customer of both ATM, a Las Vegas-based business owned by brothers-in-law Wayde King and Brett Raymer, and GF Piping Systems as it’s called in the industry in North America.

U.S. operations for Georg Fischer also include manufacturing locations in Easton, Pa., and Dallas, which ranks 28 among pipe, profile and tubing extruders. The Easton site makes PVC and chlorinated PVC pipes for industrial applications. The Dallas site makes large-diameter polyethylene pipes and fittings for water distribution. The company has estimated sales of $150 million.

In California, GF Piping specializes in plastic parts for aquatic, energy, refrigeration, microelectronic and life science applications. After 35 years in Tustin, the business moved to a larger 115,000-square-foot facility about 10 miles away in Irvine, in part to have space for a demonstration room to show how its products operate in life-like settings.

“The aquarium business is a major market for us,” Brian Gordon, product marketing manager said, in a telephone interview. “Sea World is a big customer — those kinds of aquariums. We’ll have an interactive demo display so customers can come in and see a huge fish tank with all of our valves, automation and piping.”

The demonstration room has also a refrigeration unit lining a wall like you see at a grocery store for customers in the food industry and a high-purity water system used to make semiconductor chips for high-tech clients.

Gordon said GF Piping invested more than $5 million into remodeling the building, which also doubles the office spaces, triples the fabrication departments, and has a training room for up to 100 people.

“We do a lot of custom fabrication here,” he said. “We make custom parts and prefabricate sections of piping. We make manifolds so customers don’t have to do it in the field in the dirt. We make complicated spool pieces in house and ship it to them. All they need to do is bolt it together.”

GF Piping ran out of room to grow at its previous location, according to James Jackson, who was recently named the head of the Americas business unit.

“GF already has a significant U.S. footprint with many locations across the country,” Jackson said in a news release. “The new site allows us to further increase our presence on the West Coast by providing additional custom manufacturing, training capabilities and expanding personnel as needed.”

About 110 employees work at the site. Gordon said there is room for another 40.


Comments

New Georg Fischer piping site gets 'Tanked'

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: August 1, 2014 1:21 pm ET
Updated: August 1, 2014 1:29 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Material Insights: Commerical production of antibacterial polymers begins

September 15, 2014 1:55 pm ET

PET bottle resin prices rise, we talk shale gas and antibacterial polymers.    More

Image

Bud Frye may be retiring, but his molds and products continue

September 12, 2014 1:11 pm ET

After 35 years in the plastics industry, Bud Frye thinks it is time for someone else to sell his food storage and housewares products. That's why...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Bottle recycling goes to the dogs in China

September 11, 2014 6:00 am ET

We visit a custom sheet extruder in Indiana, Apple says no to plastic cases on the new iPhone and dogs help clear bottles from a river in China.    More

Image

Executive pay driven by performance-based incentives

September 10, 2014 5:09 pm ET

The CEO of an automotive parts giant again tops the annual Plastics News list of highest-paid industry executives, and it's the cash and stock...    More

Image

3-D printed instruments hit the right note

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm ET

AUSTIN, TEXAS — At lunch during Industrial Designers Society of America's annual conference this year, members got a taste of some inventive tun...    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events