The first part of the project, which will bring the combined facility to about 240,000 square feet, will be to centralize its finished goods inventory into one location. The inventory had been fragmented throughout three buildings in Warsaw, but Harvey said the addition will allow it to be located in one.
"It will have a tremendous benefit for efficiencies in our shipping department, and order fulfillment will be a lot easier and a lot faster, especially on our 24-hour ship items," he said. "It will also allow us to inventory more product to maximize our runs in each of the departments to gain some efficiencies of scale there."
That means instead of setting up and running certain product lines up to four times a month, it may only need to be run twice a month. "A lot of times our runs were limited to the amount of space we had to stock it," he said.
The revamped footprint also will free up nearly 30,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space. Once the layout is organized, Harvey said Flexaust will look to add one or two additional lines to produce its Flexadux line and two to three additional lines for its Genesis products.
The Flexadux products are made of polyurethanes, thermoplastic elastomers and PVC. They are used in such applications as maintenance and repair operations, woodworking, general purpose hose, air hose, lawn and leaf collection, and some agricultural uses.
The Genesis line is Flexaust's plastic commercial vacuum hoses, made of polyethylene and EVAs. The goods are used in commercial cleaning applications, car wash vacuum hoses, industrial vacuum systems and residential home central vacuum systems.
In addition, Harvey said Flexaust is adding at least one horizontal injection press and two to three more overmolding presses at a third plant in Warsaw that manufactures the Dayflex line of made-to-order assembled hoses. That facility is a 55,000-square-foot structure across the street from the main building.
The Dayflex operation utilizes TPEs, PU, PVC and PE to make hoses for commercial cleaning, sump pumps and commercial floor scrubbers, along with products for the recreational vehicle and marine industries.
Flexaust also has a fourth factory in Warsaw, a 35,000-square-foot unit that is home for operations obtained when it purchased the United Electric Co. — known in the business as TUEC — which is a manufacturer of commercial and industrial vacuum hoses and vacuum cleaning attachments. There, Flexaust has reorganized the warehouse to have six-foot aisles, freeing up space to store all raw materials for use at the four Warsaw plants.
The growth is prompted by increased business across all of Flexaust's markets, according to Harvey.
"Unless the bottom falls out, we'll have a record year in sales," he said. "And next year looks like it could be another record year, based on what we're seeing from the distributor world and with all the OEMs the distributors work with, and what they're forecasting for 2018."
He added that this business cycle has been different in that normally some markets go up and others drop, and vice versa. "It just seems everything is steadily going up," Harvey said. "Nothing too crazy. It's just that everything is going up at the same time. I don't know if over 2015 and 2016 everything was so soft for manufacturing, that people have just started reordering again and refilling the pipeline."
Flexaust has a good deal of business with the military, and he said business with the U.S. Navy yards has been strong since December 2016.
Flexaust also has manufacturing facilities in Amesbury, Mass.; El Paso, Texas; and Las Vegas. Harvey said Flexaust plans to add two Genesis product lines to complement the normal Flexaust-style hoses being produced there.