Canada-based pipe extruder Ipex Inc. has consolidated production at two stateside manufacturing facilities.
Officials relocated three polypropylene extrusion lines from a Chicago site to the firm's Pineville, N.C., location in February. The Chicago location still will be used for distribution, said Carol Masse, Ipex's vice president of finance.
Overall, the move meant improved efficiencies for Ipex's U.S. extrusion operations, officials said. The firm, based in Don Mills, Ontario, extrudes PP pipe in one-half inch to 12 inches for acid waste. Ipex also extrudes PVC, chlorinated PVC and some ABS at the site.
Ipex also plans to consolidate warehousing at the 32-acre Pineville complex during the next year. Officials will centralize distribution and add docks for a more logical flow. All told, the complex has 140,000 square feet of warehousing space and nearly 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space with 24 injection molding machines for fittings and 13 extrusion lines to support PVC and CPVC production.
``Over time our site was developed in a somewhat piecemeal manner, resulting in our inside and outside storage being spread throughout the property,'' U.S. operations manager Wayne Peterson said. ``We expect to better consolidate the storage space required, thereby creating a more effective work area. We expect this project to progress, in segments, with a final completion by year-end.''
Like other manufacturers, Ipex's immediate concern for the current production year is on a tight supply of resin, Peterson said.
``However, demand on the plant recently has been fairly steady and that is certainly encouraging,'' he wrote in a May 23 e-mail.
Ipex, owned by Brussels, Belgium-based Etex Group SA, reported $255 million in 2001 extrusion sales. The firm operates one extrusion facility each in Alberta and British Columbia; two in Quebec; and three in Ontario.