Water pipe and conduit maker National Pipe & Plastics Inc. is in the midst of a $5 million overhaul of its two extrusion plants.
The Vestal, N.Y.-based PVC pipe extruder has invested about $3.5 million in the purchase of its previously rented 160,000-square-foot plant in Vestal. National Pipe officials are investing another $1.5 million in new, higher-speed extrusion lines to replace some older equipment in their Colfax, N.C., facility.
``This is a continuation of what we've been trying to do for the last six or seven years,'' said Vice President Chuck Miller in a Jan. 16 telephone interview. ``As you become more efficient, you're de-bottlenecking, producing more and creating a better environment for your people.
``We're continuously upgrading equipment to satisfy those needs.''
In terms of building infrastructure, the company's Vestal plant has undergone the most work.
National Pipe officials have completely rewired the plant's electrical system, added new lighting, ventilation, a new chiller and closed-loop water system.
``We'll be saving a considerable amount of money,'' said President and Chief Executive Officer David Culbertson.
National Pipe will introduce a new foam core line to reduce material costs in 2007. Culbertson said foaming technology could revolutionize the marketplace.
``It is potentially a new direction for the pipe market to go in the future,'' he said.
The company makes conduit to serve the electrical market and pipe for water, sewer and plumbing applications. National Pipe extrudes in diameters of one-half to 24 inches.