APCOM’s flagship Franklin, Tenn., plant broke ground Dec. 11 for a 57,750 square foot addition, increasing the size of the facility by more than 40 percent.
Construction of the addition, which will house expanded warehousing and manufacturing operations, begins next week and is scheduled to be complete by the third quarter of 2016. It is the first expansion of the Franklin plant since 1993 and the first manufacturing expansion in the City of Franklin in more than 20 years.
“This expansion signifies the importance of APCOM to our global water heating business,” Ajita Rajendra, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation, APCOM’s parent company, said. “The APCOM team is a critical component supplier, and having this capability gives us a major competitive advantage,” he explained to the 75 people attending the groundbreaking ceremony.
Initially, the expansion will enable APCOM to increase its warehousing, shipping and receiving, and service parts operations. Approximately 34,000 square feet will be devoted to warehousing including five new shipping and five receiving doors, and one ramp for tractor/trailers. APCOM currently leases warehouse space in Franklin and nearby Cookeville, Tenn., to accommodate its inventory and logistics needs.
“This will make shipping much more efficient,” Bill Jacobs, director of operations for the Franklin plant, explained. “The expansion will give us the ability to stage orders, requiring less material handling as well as consolidate our warehousing operations.”
The expansion also will provide additional space for the company’s service parts business. APCOM markets a wide range of packaged water heater replacement parts to wholesale and retail customers nationwide.
A portion of the expansion will be set aside for new products the company intends to bring to market over the next several years.
Once the warehousing and service parts operations relocate to the new addition, APCOM plans to expand other manufacturing departments including those that make heating elements and dip tubes for water heaters.