When Foltz Concrete Pipe Co., LLC was running three outdated machines, bargain-minded customers called frequently about deals on culls. Our response has
When Foltz Concrete Pipe Co., LLC was running three outdated machines, bargain-minded customers called frequently about deals on culls. Our response has gone from ÎHow many do you want?Ì to ÎWe don’t have anyÌ, says V.P. of Manufacturing Eric Parrish, affirming productivity and quality gains from an overhaul at the Winston-Salem, N.C., site Foltz Concrete has called home since 1931.
In mid-2008, the company started production in a new 120- _ 300-ft. enclosure, built around a Hawkeye Pipe Plus Plus machine running 15- to 72-in. product; MBK Cage Machine; and, canopy tarp curing bay served by a 20-ton EMH bridge crane and Kraft Energy Vapor Generator. The enclosure occupies part of an older plant footprint; its placement along newly cleared area on the 30-acre site allows for a drive-over aggregate bin feeding a Merts EZ batch plant.
The Hawkeye machinery succeeds vintage core & vibration and packerhead models molding 4-ft. and 8-ft. pipe. The Pipe Plus Plus enables Foltz Concrete to shift from an output mode where a typical day of 72-in. product netted eight to 10 pieces, versus today’s capability of 25-plus. We were spending too much time and money locating old machine parts. The cost of those parts and steel added to the pressure to upgrade, says Parrish. We were also losing a lot of work being limited to tongue & groove product while customers were changing to gasketed pipe specifications.
Our goal is to become one of the premier concrete pipe suppliers on the East Coast, he adds. To that end, he and key staffers, Brett Sink and Brian Merrell, quickly transitioned to the new operation, while preparing for audits leading to American Concrete Pipe Association Q-Cast plant certification earlier this year. Q-Cast, along with recent visits to state department of transportation officials, will help Foltz Concrete expand its market reach in the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia Û each set to benefit from additional public works spending fueled by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. The stimulus money, coupled with a reasonably strong North Carolina DOT budget and work log, will help offset a drop in demand from lower residential work.
As pipe production moves toward peak season, Foltz Concrete is converting a newer, adjacent line from wet cast retaining wall block to catch basin and flared end production.