FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — Living up to its claim as the world's largest maker of marine plastic extrusions, Barbour Plastics Inc. plans to open a plant near its main customer base.
The extruder will open a 42,000-square-foot facility in Orlando, Fla., by summer, said Mark Demers, vice president of sales for marine products with the Brockton, Mass.-based company.
The new plant signals the first Barbour site in Florida, where many of its boat-building customers use the company's profile products for moldings, rub rails and other trim pieces.
"We decided last year that we needed to be closer to where our customers are working," Demers said during a Feb. 8 interview at the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition & Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
The company closed a plant in Roanoke, Va., at the end of last year and plans to move extrusion lines to the new Orlando facility. The Virginia plant had four to five extrusion and coextrusion lines that will be part of the shift south.
The company still must determine how many employees will be added in Orlando, which depends on how many workers from other Barbour facilities move to Florida, Demers said. The investment in the new facility also must be decided.
The company eventually would like to install as many as 10 profile extruders at the plant, Demers said.
The company is owned by Brockton-based Barbour Corp., which also owns Calflex Manufacturing Inc., a maker of thermoplastic tubing, hose and plumbing connectors; and a manufacturer of welting for high-end footwear.
Barbour Plastics moved into a new headquarters in Brockton in 1999. The company recorded about $14.6 million in profile and tubing sales during 1999 and was 104th in Plastics News' Pipe Profile & Tubing Extruders ranking.