Communication is becoming ever faster these days and Moore Diversified Products Inc. doesn't plan to be left out of the conversation. One of the latest forms of communication is being made possible through Moore's new plant in El Reno, Okla., which is manufacturing fiber-optic conduit.
The firm opened its second extrusion plant in August after landing deals with communications giants Enron Corp., Level 3 Communications Inc. and Charter Communications. Moore will supply high density polyethylene conduit for the installation of fiber-optic lines across the United States, said Ken Flammang, director of Moore's plastic manufacturing operations.
Charter, Level 3 and Enron all have launched major projects to install fiber-optic lines to allow high-speed access to the Internet.
Though Moore is only one of several suppliers of conduit to those companies, the work is enough to sustain eight new extruders from Processing Technologies Inc. in the 35,000-square-foot building, he said.
Moore remains headquartered in Lexington, Ky., where it houses another eight extruders. The company is leaving future plans for expansion up to the market, Flammang said.
"If it continues to grow, we'll grow with it. Right now the Internet is very popular, but how long will it last? We don't know," he added.
Investment in fiber-optic lines in the United States more than tripled between 1990 and 1999, according to a study from the Telecommunications Industry Association and the MultiMedia Telecommunications Association, both based in Arlington, Va.
Spending rose from $4.1 billion in 1990 to $14.6 billion last year, and will more than double by 2003, to $30.2 billion, according to the report.
"The phenomenal increase in fiber-optics spending reflects the growing demand for access to broadband [Internet] service," said MMTA President Mary Bradshaw in a new release. "We'll see the fiber market continue to grow to accommodate the increasing reliance worldwide on the Internet as a business and communications tool."
Flammang estimated 1999 pipe sales at $30 million. Moore also manufactures steel enclosure boxes for fiber-optic lines.