Nibco Inc., a major maker of metal fittings and valves, has begun extruding FlowGuard Gold chlorinated PVC pipe at its plant in Denmark, S.C. Early last year Nibco began making pipe fittings from FlowGuard Gold CPVC, developed by BFGoodrich Co.
In June, Nibco added CPVC pipe to its repertoire, installing capacity to extrude 40 million feet per year, according to Nibco literature. The pipe is used primarily in residential plumbing for potable water, and is sold through both wholesale and retail channels in 10-foot lengths and diameters of one-half to two inches.
Cam Erekson, manager for plastics fittings, would not disclose the cost or number of new extruders.
Elkhart, Ill.-based Nibco is a world leader in copper and steel industrial fittings and valves, according to spokesman Michael Gonzalez.
Other PVC products at Denmark include pipe for pressure applications, such as underground sprinkler systems, and fittings for the irrigation market. The plant was certified as ISO 9002 in February 1994, Erekson said.
Midyear, Nibco acquired two Fresno, Calif., firms that make injection molded and extruded plastic products for the micro and low-flow irrigation industry, a new market for Nibco. Together, Pepco Water Conservation Products and Wade Rain, formerly a division of Wade Manufacturing in Portland, Ore., now make up the Nibco Irrigation Products division.
The companies draw a huge share of their customers from California, but also tap large markets in the Northwest and Southwest, particularly among citrus farmers, according to Gonzalez.
Nibco has 12 manufacturing sites in the United States and one in Reynosa, Mexico, and more than 20 distribution centers, he said. Europe represents ``a small but growing piece of business'' for its CPVC pipe, he said.
The private firm started out 91 years ago as a maker of cast-metal plumbing fittings, then gradually moved into plastic industrial applications, Erekson said.
It employs 3,300.