GIW’s $42 Million Expansion
A lot has changed since GIW opened its doors in 1891, but our commitment to customer success and product quality has never wavered. To meet our customers’ needs and keep up with an expanding global market, we embarked on a major expansion project, which began in 2014. Now, that we are in a new year, you may wonder: where are we now? Here is the latest on the GIW expansion, as well as a preview of what’s just ahead.
In 2014, growth in the mining market led to greater demand, which fueled the need to expand our facilities.
The expansion was set to grow our capacity in one key area: white iron casting. Only ten percent of iron foundries in the world produce white irons, which are used in critical parts of many GIW pumps. The expansion helps us make the materials that no one else can, in the large casting sizes that our customers need, all while increasing efficiencies.
Phase 1: Foundry
The first part of our expansion project was completed in 2016 and has increased our foundry capacity to 50,000 square feet. This helps us handle large equipment without sacrificing speed or efficiency. The facility has 72-foot-high ceilings and floor space roughly the size of a football field. This allows us to build components that are taller and wider than we could before.
Our ultimate goal is to triple our manufacturing capability, and this addition brings us much closer to that achievement. Since its opening, this new foundry has become the number one white iron foundry in the world.
Phase 2: Distribution center and parking lot
This next phase of the project went into operation in May 2016. We opened a new distribution center with 45,000-square-feet of space for preparing and shipping larger parts and equipment. We even built the center’s north and south walls with future expansion in mind. The nearby parking lot expanded as well to accommodate more staff at GIW.
We revamped our inventory capabilities in this space, which increased accuracy to nearly 99%. The building uses LED lighting and other features to be energy efficient and easy to maintain. The space also is designed to be very safe and efficient, with all inventoried items kept in the center of the room rather than outside. This minimizes the amount of time employees spend on touch-up work prior to dispatch.
Phase 3: Machining and more
Phase 3 is expected to cost $42 million to complete — which is about the same as the first two phases combined — and key parts of it are already well underway. This phase expands our capacity to perform other manufacturing steps, including shot blast, heat treatment, cleaning, and more. Overall, we will increase our current manufacturing capability in this phase alone, as well as remove bottlenecks in key areas.
We have already completed the retention pond, and the design for the pattern storage building is finalized. Designs for other components also are on schedule, with cranes, shot blast, and heat treat technology in engineering and production. These will allow us to continue advancements in the wear resistance and overall strength of our products, and give us the room to work on some parts larger than many foundries would even consider.
While COVID-19 has forced the adjustment of some of our plans, we are still well on track to complete this phase, and the expansion project, by mid-2021. We are excited about bringing these services to our customers in the near future!
Watch the latest video update!