Freedom Plastics Inc. has begun making C900 PVC pipe at its new, 75,000-square-foot plant in Janesville, Wis. The company built the plant to accommodate capacity for 20 million pounds per year of the high-pressure pipe for municipal use.
The plant is part of an 11-building complex in Janesville, where eight extruders make PVC pipe, mainly for municipal sewer and water applications, and conduits for the telecommunications market, said Bill Coleman, head of manufacturing. Total PVC pipe capacity at the facilities is 85 million pounds a year. The firm also fabricates fittings there.
Freedom expects to capitalize on the growing demand for C900 pipe, which competes for market share against ductile iron, Coleman said.
``PVC has a big advantage because so many areas of the country have soil that will attack iron, but PVC will last virtually forever,'' he said.
Because of iron pipe's corrosiveness, ``there is more and more acceptance of PVC for water usage all the time,'' said Marc Palasini, vice president of sales and marketing.
The pipe is extruded in diameters of 4-12 inches, but Palasini said Freedom plans to grow its capabilities into larger diameters, up to 24 inches, and more pressure classes.
The new plant has room for three more extrusion lines, and a knockout wall for further expansion at the 33-acre site, Coleman said.
Pipe sales, now at $35 million, should reach more than $45 million for Freedom's fiscal year ending in March 1997, he said. The company employs 133.