Scottsdale, Ariz. — For India-based Polyhose Inc., a completed expansion in Pender County, N.C., is a chance to gain proximity to U.S. customers, supplying them with Polyhose's patented hoses of all types in the automotive, oil and gas, aerospace and industrial hose markets.
The 52,500-square-foot facility just outside of Wilmington, which saw its original opening dates affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to open within a couple weeks and be fully operational with its distribution, assembly and warehousing by fall.
"This will allow us to have stock in North America to better serve our customers in a timely fashion," Jonathan Pressler, senior vice president with Polyhose, told Rubber & Plastics News at the June 12-15 NAHAD Convention in Scottsdale. The gathering brings hundreds of industrial and hydraulic hose and hose accessory businesses together each year.
The overall U.S. and North American markets are the largest in the hose industry, and Polyhose's increased domestic footprint can be attributed to that trend, according to company officials.
The Wilmington warehouse and assembly center will bring 51 jobs, as the hose maker invests nearly $8 million in the facility over the next several years. Phase I is complete, comprising the 52,500-square-foot facility, while Phase II will include another 70,000-square-foot addition in the coming years.
In addition, a satellite facility is planned for the hose maker's warehouse in Simpsonville, S.C., in the coming years, said Pressler, who will be based at the Wilmington location.
Pressler said the geography in the mid-Atlantic area allows excellent access to transportation and infrastructure, and the Wilmington location in particular benefits from seaport access and a community college nearby.
The North Carolina facility exists in an industrial corridor along U.S. Route 421 known as Pender Commerce Park.
Wages for employees at the Pender County location will average $38,216 per year, according to a news release from the North Carolina governor's office. A $75,000, performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund will assist Polyhose with its operations.
The company is hiring for warehousing operations, data entry, administrative positions, sales managers and assembly supervisors, according to Pressler.
"We believe in carrying stock in North America so we can cater to smaller distributors — not selling by containers, but rather allowing customers to draw from our volume and buy product quickly with access to what's on the shelf there. This is just a much different approach to business," Raja Rajagopalan, also a senior vice president with Polyhose, told Rubber & Plastics News.
Polyhose makes six product lines, but the company will focus on four in Wilmington: rubber hydraulic, PTFE, thermoplastic and hydraulic couplings lines, as well as hose accessories.
Polyhose began with a lone thermoplastic division in 1996 and specializes in elastomer, polymer, fluoropolymer, stainless steel flexible and ultra high pressure hoses, along with the engineering and manufacture of various types of fluid connectors.
The entirety of Polyhose's manufacturing takes place across 1 million square feet of production space in Chennai, India, where the company is based.