Mergers & Acquisition

Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. Acquires New Facility to Support Expansion in EPA-Compliant, Non-Automotive Fuel Tanks

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Agri-Industrial Plastics Co.

P.O. Box 867, Fairfield, IA, 52556, USA

Original Press Release

Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. Acquires New Facility to Support Expansion in EPA-Compliant, Non-Automotive Fuel Tanks

Press release date: October 24, 2012

Expansion Enables Company to Meet Growing Demand for Barrier Fuel Tanks for Lawn and Garden, ATV, Snowmobile, and Marine Markets

FAIRFIELD, Iowa- Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. has announced the acquisition of an 80,000-sq-ft facility which will support a major expansion of the company's non-automotive fuel tank business. The company made the announcement at The Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+Expo) Oct. 24-26 (Booth #8034) at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. Strong growth for fuel tanks in the lawn and garden, ATV, snowmobile, and marine markets has prompted Agri-Industrial to boost fuel tank capacity by 40% with the purchase of two new Kautex multilayer blow molding machines while also acquiring a new facility located adjacent to the Fairfield blow molding operation.

"This investment in a new location further solidifies our commitment to the non-automotive fuel tank business and enables us to meet increasing customer demand," said Mick Stielow, Director of Sales and Marketing for Agri-Industrial. In response to the strong growth, the company has also expanded its workforce, adding 15 full-time machine operators over the last six months. Plans call for the hiring of 15-20 new workers over the next year.

The purchase of the new facility allows Agri-Industrial to gain needed warehouse space along with additional property for future greenfield expansion, according to Stielow. The Company has already purchased two new six-layer continuous co-extrusion blow molding machines from Bonn, Germany-based Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH. The new multilayer machines - the fourth and fifth units purchased from Kautex in seven years - increase Agri-Industrial's fuel tank production capacity by 40% to meet the growing U.S. demand in the lawn and garden, ATV, snowmobile, and marine markets. One of the machines is already being assembled at the company's original 186,000-sq-ft plant in Fairfield and both are expected to be ready for production in first quarter 2013.

The Kautex KBS241 and KBS61 Smart machines come with six-layer heads, multilayer extrusion systems, six-axis parison transfer robots, and Blow Command 4 microprocessor controls. The KBS241 has a throughput rate of 1984 lb per hour while the KBS61 Smart boasts a throughput of 1653 lb/hr.

Manufacturers of small-engine fuel tanks made of HDPE have increasingly turned to multilayer technology, which has been recognized as the most effective barrier solution for meeting stringent permeation requirements set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to Agri-Industrial. The company began production of non-automotive multilayer fuel tanks in 2005.

"Our investments to date further reinforce our view that multilayer technology is the superior approach in meeting today's stringent evaporative emission standards," said Stielow. "It's a proven technology that is cost competitive, is consistent in meeting emission standards, and has processing and quality benefits."

Agri-Industrial manufactures HDPE fuel tanks ranging from 1-gal to 50-gal. The HDPE fuel tank is composed of two virgin layers, two adhesive layers, an EVOH barrier layer, and a regrind layer. Permeation levels for the multilayer tanks far exceed the current EPA standard, which limits fuel vapor emissions to 1.5 g/m2/day with CE10 fuel at 28 C.

These multilayer fuel tanks are produced for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, golf carts, personal watercraft, and a variety of lawn and garden applications including riding mowers, tractors, and other commercial equipment.

Agri-Industrial was one of the first custom blow molders in the U.S. to adopt multilayer technology as a barrier solution to meet tougher environmental regulations. The company works closely with customers to develop and design highly intricate part geometries which are not only environmentally-compliant but also functional.

In addition to non-automotive fuel tanks, Agri-Industrial is a producer of numerous traditional industrial blow molded parts for a variety of industries. It has a stable of 20 monolayer industrial blow molding machines which manufacture products such as grass discharge chutes, hopper covers, utility tractor and riding mower foot decks, canopies, mud guards, drain tubes, and doors for utility vehicles.

About Agri-Industrial Plastics Co.
Founded in 1978, Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. is a leading industrial blow molder of large parts including non-automotive fuel tanks for the recreational equipment, lawn and garden, agricultural, and watercraft industries. The custom blow molder serves a diverse customer base and offers unparalleled expertise in part design, mold design, engineering, part production, and assembly. Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. has grown into a state-of-the art company with 25 industrial blow molding machines, 150 full-time employees, 350 active molds, on a campus that spans 265,000 square feet on 20 acres. Learn more by calling (641) 472-4188 or visit www.agriindustrialplastics.com

Press Contact:
Joseph Grande
413.684.2463
joe@jgrandecommunications.com

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