INDIANAPOLIS—Apache Inc. has experienced a good deal of change in 2016, growing both organically and through a key acquisition.
It expanded its 100,000-sq.-ft. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, headquarters and primary production plant by about 90,000 square feet to help handle the additional business it gained over the last two years and extended its reach on the West Coast with the acquisition of Portland, Ore.-based Pacific Belting Inc.
The dust barely has settled following those two moves, and the company is on the move again, this time with plans to move Pacific Belting to a much larger facility in the Portland metropolitan area from the 20,000-sq.-ft. site it presently occupies to expand its offerings beyond the heavyweight belt sector, Tom Pientok, president and CEO of Apache, said at NIBA—the Belting Association conference, held Sept. 14-17 in Indianapolis.
He said the acquired company has been integrated fully within Apache and is now part of the firm's industrial division. It now goes to market under the Apache brand name.
A fabricator and wholesaler of belts and hose, Apache sells exclusively to distributors and original equipment manufacturers and is working on building its own Apache brand, Pientok said. Basically, it purchases components and fabricates them together.
It also is a manufacturer of a variety of seals at its Hillsboro, Ore., plant.
In addition to the Portland, Hillsboro and Cedar Rapids sites, Apache has production and sales facilities in Cincinnati; Dallas; and Des Moines, Iowa, along with a sales office in St. Louis. It opened the Dallas plant in August 2015.
Gaining a larger base on the West Coast is something the firm has been planning for a few years because it was the best way to improve logistics and transit time, according to Pientok.
He said he had talked to Ken Crane, owner of Pacific Belting at the time, for several years about the possibility of buying the business. “We met last year and the time was right.”
Crane has semi-retired but remains on the staff to insure the integration goes well, he added.
“Jason Crane now runs the West Coast operation, and they are very busy,” Pientok said. The business fabricates heavy duty conveyor belts; offers all varieties of skirtboard and conveyor components—including rollers and protection systems; and repairs rubber tracks.
In terms of the Cedar Rapids site expansion, he said that while the construction end of the project is complete, “we're still in transition within the facility.”
Once the firm finished building the addition, which virtually increased the size of the complex two-fold, the company began moving employees out of a second building it leased in Cedar Rapids to the expanded facility.
“We invested heavily in new equipment” at the complex, he said, and the company has been installing the machinery at the plant. The addition called for a reorganization of the facility, and Pientok believes that project will be complete at the end of the year.
“Kyle Gingrich, Apache's vice president of operations, headed up the entire project and he did a great job,” according to Pientok.
Apache is focusing on organic growth as much as it has on acquisitions, he said. “And right now that's a challenge because of the economy. But we're versatile, and we're moving forward.”