J-M Manufacturing upgrades Pa. site
LIVINGSTON, N.J. - Pipe extruder J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Livingston is spending $15 million on improvements to its property in Meadville, Pa.
The project includes completion of an extrusion plant, a new warehouse, a mixer building, machinery and equipment and installation of a rail siding. J-M employs roughly 100 at the site, and it will add nearly 85 jobs.
The Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County received $650,000 in Infrastructure Development Program grants from the Keystone State to complete improvements to an asphalt road that connects to J-M's manufacturing plant, according to Gov. Ed Rendell's office.
``It's pretty much ready to go at this point,'' said Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance, in a July 27 telephone interview.
J-M officials did not return calls seeking comment.
The firm reported $800 million in extrusion sales for 2004, making pipe products at 13 plants from PVC, ABS and high density polyethylene. Its markets include plumbing, municipal water and sewer, electrical and irrigation.
L-P vinyl siding business is up for sale
NASHVILLE, TENN. - Nashville-based building products firm Louisiana-Pacific Corp. wants to sell its vinyl siding business as it focuses on its wood products and decking, and its desire to be No. 1 or No. 2 in its markets.
L-P intends to sell the business within the next year, officials said. The unit makes vinyl siding and accessories marketed under several brand names including ABTco, Maxim and Norman Rockwell.
It reported sales of $123 million in vinyl siding for 2004, and $116 million in 2003; in 2002, sales of that division came in at $96 million. For 2004 vs. 2003, however, sales volumes in vinyl siding remained flat, according to the firm's annual report.
``We think it's a good business,'' spokeswoman Mary Cohnsaid July 28 by telephone. ``We have stated before that we want to be the No. 1 or No. 2 player in the markets we serve. Right now, we're not in that position with that business.''
The firm produces vinyl siding in Acton, Ontario, and Holly Springs, Miss., with annual capacity of 3.5 million squares.
Thermoforming Systems LLC expanding
YAKIMA, WASH. - Thermoforming Systems LLC is investing $2.6 million to consolidate operations in a larger facility.
The Yakima-based equipment supplier recently broke ground for the project in nearby Union Gap, Wash., the company announced. The new facility, which will have 50,000 square feet of space on 7 acres, is designed with further expansion in mind. The 60-employee business plans to relocate by year's end.
Thermoforming Systems now operates three facilities in Yakima totaling about 30,000 square feet, said Dave Irwin, vice president of sales and marketing, in a telephone interview.
The company's annual sales have grown fourfold to more than $20 million since it was established in 2002, when it bought the assets of International Thermoforming Systems.
Thermoforming Systems President Thomas Feichter said new product innovations helped fuel the company's sales growth.
Fire strikes D'Andrea guitar pick plant
ALLENTOWN, PA. -A July 27 cellulosics fire at guitar pick maker D'Andrea Inc. forced the company and tenants to evacuate D'Andrea's building in Allentown, Pa.
No injuries were reported immediately, though firefighters were exposed to toxic smoke, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Ruff said in a July 28 telephone interview.
``The entire building is uninhabitable'' and must be inspected thoroughly before it can be used again, Ruff said. He estimated damage at about $100,000.
The firm makes guitar picks from cellulose nitrate sheets, which were being stored in a room with glass-block windows. Ruff said hot, sunny weather could have caused the room to become hot enough to ignite the sheets.
Syosset, N.Y.-based D'Andrea is a major guitar pick and accessories firm established in 1922 by Luigi D'Andrea. He started the company by making cellulose nitrate picks for musical instruments as a replacement for picks made from rare Atlantic Hawksbill turtle shells. Since then the company has added acetal, nylon and its proprietary V-Resin to its material choices.