Gossen Corp. has begun marketing low-cost, imported PVC cellular sheet and panels through an agreement with Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of Mumbai, India.
Milwaukee-based Gossen said Feb. 1 the sheets and panels will expand its PVC moldings business. In turn, Gossen will make molding profiles that Jain can market around the world.
Gossen Executive Vice President Bob Simon said the U.S. market for boards made from PVC sheet is about $400 million a year, and growing more than 20 percent annually. Jain will supply sheet from one-eighth-inch to 1-inch thick in 4-foot by 20-foot panels that Gossen or its customers can cut into boards and turn into trim and other building products. Nonstructural components, such as soffit and fascia, are important end uses for the cellular PVC boards. They are replacing wood because they resist moisture and wind and are low-maintenance.
``Jain is a lower-cost producer than any of the U.S. producers,'' Simon said in a telephone interview. Jain is a major consumer of PVC resin and can purchase the material at good prices.
Simon said Jain's needs for PVC molding mean Gossen is likely to expand its production capacity. Its Cartersville, Ga., plant expanded about a year ago. It is a good candidate for the extra capacity because it has more land available than Gossen's Milwaukee factory. Gossen now runs 60 extrusion lines in the two facilities.
Jain has operations in India, South Africa, England and Australia, which will open new markets for moldings sourced from Gossen, Simon said. Jain's manufacturing head office is in Jalgaon, India. It entered vinyl building products in the early 1990s and has become a major player in PVC cellular sheet. It is a diverse manufacturer of irrigation, nursery and agricultural systems, as well as building products.
Jain Irrigation saw a great opportunity to enter PVC building products and has a strong technology base in it, said Frank Lozano, vice president of building materials for subsidiary Jain Americas Inc. in Columbus, Ohio.
Gossen logged extrusion sales of $50.3 million in 2005. Jain Irrigation, a public company, had sales of 9.1 billion rupees (about $206 million) for the year ended March 31, 2006.