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Xerium to expand, modernize two U.S. plants

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YOUNGSVILLE, N.C.—Xerium Technologies Inc. will expand two plants to enhance its rolls products and mechanical services capabilities for the North American market.

It will expand and modernize its Griffin, Ga., plant to broaden its mechanical service offering and add to both its capabilities for rubber roll recovering and industrial roll recovering, according to Xerium.

Xerium also will expand and modernize its Neenah, Wis., plant, the company said. It will broaden its product offering by installing a state-of the-art polyurethane roll cover production cell and increase the size and breadth of its mechanical services department in order to serve customers more broadly in the region.

“Polyurethane roll covers are germane to certain paper applications and are gaining broader acceptance. Similar to the mechanical service expansion, this addition will allow us to deliver products that our customers are demanding,” said Cliff Piet-rafitta, chief financial officer for Xerium.

The cost of the investment was not disclosed. These investments will allow lower lead time and aim to generate increased sales volumes in their respective regions. Completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015.

While there are opportunities in other industries to provide similar services, Pietraffita said, it is really the trend in the company's current markets that is driving the expansion.

“Both expansions are based on the industry trend toward outsourcing mechanical services to outside service providers like Xerium,” he added.

“That trend is accelerating, and our expansion activities will enable us to increase our capabilities in that area.”

Both facilities manufacture and repair large rolls used in the production of paper, containerboard, boxboard, tissue, pulp, nonwoven fabrics, fiber cement siding, steel, film production and flexible packaging. Xerium said both facilities mechanically repair and service large sections of production machines that require regular and sophisticated maintenance.

“We've taken a look at our business and are placing resources in those places where our customers are requesting more assistance from their key vendors,” Pietraffita said.

“We are excited about these opportunities.”

Xerium, which provides industrial consumable products and services, has 27 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries. It has two plants under construction and employs 3,200 worldwide.