IPEX announced a major investment in a new state-of-the-art injection molding plant to be built in Pineville, North Carolina. The new facility will encompass Industry 4.0, including artificial intelligence, and will significantly increase the company’s ability to manufacture fittings for plumbing, electrical, industrial and municipal applications.
The nearly 200,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is being custom designed and built, and will become the technological flagship for the company’s operations and one of the most advanced plastics manufacturing facilities in the industry. The plant’s flexible automation capabilities will enable total automation for all facets of sorting, labelling, counting, packing and assembly.
To ensure world-class safety results from day one, the facility will incorporate industry-leading health and safety best practices. The plant’s automation capabilities will eliminate the majority of manual repetitive processes and tasks, and the production floor will be forklift-free, with vehicles auto-guided by artificial intelligence, increasing plant safety. Also, with sustainability in mind, the plant will be fully climate-controlled, use energy-efficient lighting, and high-efficiency machines to reduce the use of both electricity and water.
Given the importance that IPEX places on innovating to create new products and ideas to fulfil customer needs, the plant layout will also provide IPEX with space for testing and prototyping a great number of new products already in development.
This new facility will increase production capacity substantially and will provide new career and job opportunities, with the expectation to hire more than 150 people from the local area. The plant’s use of Industry 4.0 will increase the need for supervisory, technical and quality control positions.
“This new plant is an exciting endeavor for IPEX, our customers, employees and the surrounding community. It is an integral part of our continued growth plans in North America,” said Alex Mestres, IPEX’s CEO. “This level of investment in new technologies, cloud connectivity and flexible automation will make this plant a learning showcase for the rest of our operations and will allow us to better serve our customers with added flexibility, response time and innovative products.”
Construction of IPEX’s ground-breaking facility is expected to be finalized in late 2022 with full operations expected to start in early 2023. Once the project is completed, the Pineville site, which includes an existing molding facility, will be home to nearly 100 injection molding machines, IPEX’s biggest molding complex.
IPEX has announced significant expansion plans this year. The Pineville manufacturing plant is the company’s fourth new facility announcement in 2021, following three new distribution centers in Garland, Texas in the U.S., and in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in Canada.