Fargo, N.D.-based Northern Pipe Products Inc. is investing $5 million and adding two new extrusion lines to its Hampton, Iowa, plant to ramp up capacity and add larger pipe diameters to its product portfolio.
The lines are scheduled to be brought on-line for commercial production in June, said Wayne Voorhees, Northern Pipe's president, in a Nov. 21 telephone interview.
The company already extrudes corrugated high density polyethylene pipe in Hampton. The plant was opened four to five years ago. Plans are in place to double the 36,000-square-foot facility to 72,000 square feet.
Physical changes at the plant will include additional covered storage space, since the new extrusion lines will displace some of the pipe maker's warehouse space, he said.
Customer demand is prompting the larger pipe, Voorhees said.
``The industry is migrating toward larger diameter. Our customers are requiring that more and more,'' he said. ``Finally we're able to offer it to them.''
Northern Pipe makes single- and dual-wall corrugated PE pipe for municipal sewer lines. The company's PVC pipe will range in size from small-diameter to 27 inches, once the new lines are installed. The company makes pipe for water distribution and well casings, as well as for drain, waste, vent, sewer and hot-air applications.
Northern Pipe is a unit of Fergus Falls, Minn.-based Otter Tail Corp., a diversified, publicly traded company involved in manufacturing, power generation and medical equipment. Otter Tail's plastics portfolio includes thermoformer T.O. Plastics Inc. in Bloomington, Minn., and PVC pipe maker Vinyltech Corp. of Phoenix.
Since the Otter Tail acquisition in 1995, Northern Pipe's PVC pipe production has more than doubled, from 50 million pounds to 105 million pounds, annually.