CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa., is embarking on a $13 million expansion to keep up with a steadily growing U.S. market for vinyl fencing. The three-plant expansion began in late 1999 and is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter, just in time for the start of the heavy construction season, Executive Vice President Brad Mattson said in a March 21 telephone interview.
The facilities affected include Cheektowaga, N.Y., which will undergo a $1.5 million expansion; McPherson, Kan., a $5 million upgrade; and Lodi, Calif., where fencing production will begin at a cost of $7 million, he said.
"This gives us nice national production and distribution capability," Mattson said.
The expansions cover all facets of manufacturing, not just new equipment.
By connecting two buildings, the firm will add more than 45,000 square feet of space to the existing 100,000 square feet in Cheektowaga. No new equipment will be added there, Mattson said.
The new area will enhance and enlarge the blending, fabrication, distribution and warehousing facilities used for vinyl fencing. The plant also will have plenty of room to grow, he said. The company wants to complete that facility by April 1.
The McPherson expansion includes two new extruders and an additional 10,000 square feet. The plant already has two extruders, Mattson said.
Lastly, the project adds fence profile production in Lodi, a plant that already makes pipe. The largest part of that expansion is in the blending plant, which will serve all Lodi operations. No new extruders will be installed, Mattson said.
As the fence market continues to grow, CertainTeed will consider adding profile production at other plants scattered across the country. However, there are no specific plans for further expansion right now, Mattson added.
The decking business also is taking off, but it remains a relatively small part of CertainTeed's overall sales, he said. Nevertheless, the company is contemplating whether to boost capacity for that market. Expansion probably will occur first in the Cheektowaga facility this year, Mattson said.
CertainTeed ranked No. 2 in Plastics News' 1999 survey of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders, with $594 million in extrusion-related sales.