Elkardt, Ind.-based pipe and fittings maker Nibco Inc. opened a new, 80,000-square-foot plant in Franklin, Ohio, the company announced Jan. 23.
Nibco will use the facility for downstream work and distribution of its cross-linked polyethylene pipe, which it extrudes 15 miles away in Lebanon, Ohio.
The new plant illustrates Nibco's commitment to its PEX business, which it acquired in May when it bought the assets of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Consolidated Plumbing Industries Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
Nibco officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment for this story.
``Due to growth in the PEX market and to meet our customer needs, Nibco had to expand its manufacturing capacities at its Lebanon, Ohio, location,'' Nibco President Steve Malm said in a news release. ``By relocating the post-processing and distribution to the new Franklin site, valuable space will be freed up in the Lebanon facility, allowing for increased production.''
The PEX plant in Lebanon is Nibco's only pipe extrusion facility in North America. The company makes PVC and chlorinated PVC pipe in a plant in L¢dz, Poland. Nibco makes PVC and ABS pipe fittings at some of its North American plants.
Pipe industry sources say PEX pipe sales are growing in both plumbing and radiant floor-heating applications.
According to the Loveland, Colo.-based Radiant Panel Association, an estimated 333 million lineal feet of PEX tubing was sold in North America in 2005, up just slightly from the 331 million lineal feet from 2004. Just 90 million lineal feet of PEX was sold in 2003.