SCOTTSBORO, Ala.—Johns Manville is planning a second thermoplastic polyolefin production line at its Scottsboro manufacturing facility.
JM said the expansion will bring its total investment in commercial roofing over the past eight years to about $200 million, creating more than 175 jobs in that span. The firm would not give financial details specific to the expansion.
The facility primarily serves the North American region.
“This significant investment continues JM's long-standing commitment to our customers, the industry, our employees and the communities in which we serve,” Mary Rhinehart, JM president and CEO, said in a statement.
TPO continues to be the preferred choice of the industry's top commercial roofing contractors, consultants and building owners, JM said in its release. The firm estimated that TPO has grown from occupying about 2 percent of the market in the late 1990s to nearly 50 percent of the market in 2015, with future growth projected for the coming years.
“It's the lowest installed cost product, not only from a materials standpoint but from a labor savings standpoint,” said Jennifer Ford-Smith, JM's director of marketing and sing-le ply. “As our contractor base struggles in finding and retaining good qualified labor, they continue to look for product solutions that are easier to apply. TPO fits that bill, and we think that's been the key driving force.
“It's going to continue to take share from other membrane categories as its acceptance grows further,” she added.
JM has not broke ground on the expansion yet, but the firm anticipates the line to be operational by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
Earlier in the year, JM enhanced its manufacturing capabilities in Scottsboro by modifying its production line to enhance efficiency. Ford-Smith said the firm can produce about 30 percent more TPO off of the current line. The extra production will meet demand sufficiently until the new line becomes operational, she said.
JM said that the expansion was a huge success and that it, combined with the new production line, will help the firm meet customer demand and remain a supplier of choice within the roofing and construction industry.
The firm already operates a quality lab at the facility, which will see a slight expansion to accommodate the increased product volume. Storage capabilities also will be increased.
“JM has been an important member of our community for eight years,” Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter said in a statement. “Their recent capacity expansion and the announcement of adding a second line shows JM's confidence in our work force to produce the best TPO in the industry. I thank JM for choosing to make this investment in Scottsboro and Jackson County.”
Johns Manville is a Berkshire Hathaway company and a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. The firm reported sales of about $2.6 billion and employs about 7,000 in 44 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.
The firm also operates an EPDM roofing membrane manufacturing facility in Milan, Ohio, which opened in 2012.