May 9, 2007 — U.S. Pipe & Foundry has unveiled plans for a new pipe plant in Bessemer, AL, a $40-45-million project to be installed adjacent to the company's existing plant. The Mueller Water Products Inc. subsidiary has ductile-iron pipe plants in North Birmingham and Bessemer, AL.; Burlington, NJ; and Union City, CA.
Ground will be broken next month, and manufacturing will begin in 18 months, the company announced.
"After months of review, we decided Bessemer is the best location to expand," stated company president Ray Torok. "Bessemer's commitment to economic development, the site's convenient location to I-20/59, and U.S. Pipe's strong 100-year history with the community made it the ideal choice for us." A site adjacent to the North Birmingham plant was also considerd for the project.
WIthout detailing the details of the new plant's design, U.S. Pipe saysit will be " an efficiency-based, streamlined, flow- through process facility." Manual pipemaking will be replaced with computer-controlled forming processes, and the plant will have machinery and material handling systems installed for the first time in the U.S.
The company says the new plant will create nearly 100 jobs. "Employees will work together as a team to get jobs done instead of individually focusing on only one task during their work shift," Torok stated. "They will also receive team incentives for the way they perform together."