BROWNSVILLE, TENN. — Lasco Fluid Distribution Products Co. needs room to expand its PVC pipe fittings business.
The company has drawn up plans for a $26 million, 500,000-square-foot factory and distribution center in Brownsville that is to replace its current plant there. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the first week in August, Lasco President Jack McDonald said in a July 24 telephone interview.
``It's the best unkept secret in Brownsville,'' McDonald said of Lasco's plans to build on a 50-acre site in an industrial park.
Lasco's current plant measures 170,000 square feet.
While McDonald said the new plant would allow his company to double production, he would not give sales figures or say how many injection molding machines the company operates. He did indicate Lasco will be buying new Cincinnati Milacron presses in the 500-to 850-ton range.
The new plant also will incorporate a high degree of automation. ``It will be high tech,'' McDonald said.
The added capacity will help Lasco grow in its current markets, McDonald said. Lasco makes pressure, drain, waste and vent pipe fittings for the irrigation, plumbing, golf course and industrial markets.
The 51-year-old company employs 500 at its plant and nine distribution centers, all in the United States.
Lasco is owned by Tomkins plc of London. Other Tomkins plastics holdings include Lasco Bathware of Anaheim, Calif.; and Lasco Panel Products, a fiberglass panel manufacturer in Florence, Ky. Tomkins, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, reported 1997 sales of $7.43 billion.