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Goodall's move to hike hose capacity

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COLLINGWOOD, Ontario—Goodall Rubber Co. of Canada plans to beef up its primary hose plant to boost its size and production capacity while expanding its reach.

The division of Pittsburgh-based distributor Lewis-Goetz & Co. Inc. will expand its hose manufacturing facility and move from one plant in Collingwood to a larger refurbished facility in the city.

The company also will upgrade some equipment at the expanded site. Financial details weren't disclosed.

Goodall's production unit will relocate from its present 50,000-sq.-ft. factory to the new plant in mid-2013 with production at the facility slated to begin then, according to Jeff Crane, CEO of Lewis-Goetz.

“We are roughly doubling the footprint of the plant to provide room for training facilities and additional capacity,” he said. “Business at the Collingwood facility has remained strong and we expect the markets for the unique, value-added products produced there to increase.”

While those are the primary reasons the firm is moving its manufacturing arm to the larger, state-of-the-art location, the new site also could set the stage for expansion of the firm's customer base in the future.

Goodall currently makes products for companies throughout North America, Crane said. Doubling the size of the manufacturing site will provide the capacity needed to pursue customers worldwide through the network of Eriks N.V. companies.

Lewis-Goetz is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Eriks, a giant industrial product maker and supplier with an extensive base of 60 businesses spread across the globe.

The present Collingwood factory employs about 50, but its work force generally fluctuates based on the seasonal nature of the goods the facility produces, Crane said.

“It is our expectation that employment at the plant will increase in the coming years,” according to the Lewis-Goetz executive.

Products made at the factory are unique offerings for niche markets, which makes the plant valuable to Goodall and to Lewis-Goetz, one of the biggest distributors of hose, conveyor belts and sealing products in North America.

“It also affords us the opportunity to promote the Goodall brand on high-end, problem-solving products,” Crane said. The new facility “will continue to provide high-quality products to our worldwide customers.”

Goodall, which was purchased by Lewis-Goetz from Trelleborg A.B. in 2006, elected to stay within Collingwood because of a solid work force that's in place and the historical success the firm has had working with the local community, the company said.

“We continue to enjoy unique and defensible competitive advantages that we will use to bring value-added products and services to our target customers,” Crane said. “We believe that growth will be difficult for the next several quarters, but leveraging those unique advantages will allow us to grow faster and much more profitably than our competitors.”