Omnova Solutions Inc. has chosen Muscle Shoals, Ala., as the site for its second plant to manufacture roofing membranes. The company announced it expects to complete the 100,000-square-foot facility late this year. Spokeswoman Sandi Noah said the plant will have annual capacity exceeding 200 million square feet of extra-wide commercial roofing membranes. It will start with about 50 employees.
Omnova will install new technology to make 24-foot-wide roofing systems. Machinery from undisclosed suppliers will extrude vinyl or polyolefin sheet 12 feet wide and weld it into 24-foot widths. The roofing products, although called single-ply, actually consist of a top plastic layer, a middle insulation layer and a bottom plastic layer.
Noah said in a telephone interview from Omnova's Fairlawn, Ohio, head office that the extra-wide sheet is in demand because it cuts installation time and costs vs. narrower versions. Omnova's other sheet plant, in Jeannette, Pa., makes narrower sheet than what Muscle Shoals will produce.
The patented wide-sheet welding technology will be explored for other Omnova applications such as industrial vinyl sheet and film used for tents and banners, and coated fabrics, Jon Apgar, president of Omnova's Building Products business, said in a news release.
Omnova might decide to make wider versions of those products eventually in Alabama, Noah added.
Noah said the welding technology is a breakthrough because it allows 24-foot roofing to meet industry codes such as wind resistance.
Omnova said installations of PVC and polyolefin roofing membranes are booming at shopping centers, sports facilities, industrial complexes and renovation projects.
Omnova was formed last October when it was spun off from GenCorp Inc.
The firm's annual sales are about $770 million.