TOLEDO, OHIO — Toledo-based Owens Corning announced April 2 it was combining its various glass-reinforced plastic pipe subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees under one corporate umbrella.
The company created a new U.S. holding company with a familiar name. Engineered Pipe Systems Inc. now will cover all the filament-wound pipe and pressure vessel products formerly manufactured under the auspices of Owens Corning's Engineered Pipe Systems business unit and a number of other entities.
Owens Corning founded the Engineered Pipe Systems unit in 1971, operating and licensing the technology for a continuous filament-winding process. Through various joint venture and license agreements, the original Flowtite product line was diluted with other related brands, including Owens Corning's own trademark, Owens Corning spokesman Dario Bernardino said in an April 13 telephone interview.
While the reorganization mostly is on paper, Owens Corning plans to use the change to focus marketing efforts on the Flowtite brand, according to Bernardino. He added that the restructuring also freed up $40 million in additional equity for Engineered Pipe Systems.
The new version of Engineered Pipe Systems encompasses $200 million in annual sales. The group includes wholly owned facilities in China and Norway and operates joint ventures in Argentina, Botswana, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Spain and Turkey. The group also has affiliated operations in Saudi Arabia, India and Thailand, and license agreements in other countries.
The headquarters for the unit will remain in Brussels, Belgium. Owens Corning also conducts pipe research at facilities in Battice, Belgium; Sandefjord, Norway; Gaborone, Botswana, and Granville, Ohio.