Infiltrator Water Technologies LLC continues to expand its operation in Winchester, Ky., this time adding 13 injection molding machines, bringing the plant's total to 34 presses and its total investment in the site over the years to $140 million.
Old Saybrook, Conn.-based Infiltrator began work on the Kentucky plant in 2018 and opened it in 2020 with 103,000 square feet of space. A second phase of construction extended the building to 163,000 square feet. Desk Injection Molding Machine
"We've been adding presses and other expansion continually since then," Marketing Director Jim Bransfield told Plastics News. The company has added 175 workers in two years, bringing its total employment to almost 700.
Infiltrator has two other buildings on the site dedicated to injection molding, giving it 313,000 square feet of manufacturing for that purpose.
Its 250-acre campus in the Winchester Industrial Park has five other buildings used for extrusion, grinding or storage; one of them houses manufacturing of Infiltrator's EZflow drainage and septic products. The EZflow system consists of perforated pipe surrounded by polystyrene aggregate and wrapped in geotextile netting.
Infiltrator extrudes some of the EZflow pipe and sources some from its parent company, pipe and recycling giant Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. of Hillard, Ohio. ADS acquired Infiltrator in 2019 for $1.08 billion.
All told, Infiltrator has more than 1 million square feet of space under roof in Winchester and 9 acres of outdoors distribution and storage. Bransfield said in an email there are provisions for further expansion.
Infiltrator makes giant products — such as engineered plastic chambers and tanks for leach fields, septic and stormwater uses — and it needs giant machines. Its smallest press has 2,200 tons of clamping force.
In 2014, it designed and built its own 6,000-ton press to make 15-foot-long septic tank halves.
Since then, it has dwarfed those machines. As part of the latest expansion, Infiltrator added two 8,200-ton presses. But its biggest addition came in 2020, when it installed a 16,000-ton compression molding machine.
"We produce two parts over 200 pounds in weight — one being a septic tank and another used in stormwater drainage. These parts are produced on molds weighing more than 420,000 pounds," Bransfield said.
Although it does all of its injection and compression molding in Winchester, Infiltrator has five plants that produce Infiltrator EZflow wastewater treatment products: Portland, Ore.; Dallas; Phenix City, Ala.; Monticello, Ill.; and Salisbury, N.C.
A plant in Whitefield, N.H., extrudes a different line of wastewater products called Advanced EnviroSeptic (AES). The company also has an operation in Walker, La., for assembling wastewater treatment products for residential and commercial applications.
The corporate headquarters in Old Saybrook does no manufacturing, but it has space for research and development operations and keeps track of the company's 200-plus patents.
"We're a growth-oriented company, always planning for more expansions," Bransfield said. "It's a great place to work, if you like to be challenged."
Infiltrator's products are made of polypropylene and polyethylene, most of it recycled. In December, parent ADS acquired Infiltrator's largest supplier of recycled PP, Jet Polymer Recycling Inc. of Payne, Ala. ADS ranks No. 1 in the most recent PN survey of North American recyclers, with annual reprocessing volume of 647 million pounds.
PN also ranks ADS No. 4 among pipe, profile and tubing extruders, with relevant sales of $2.1 billion. The public company reported total net sales of $2.8 billion for the fiscal year that ended March 31, an increase of nearly 40 percent over the previous year. It reported profit of $275 million, compared with profit of $226.1 million the year before.
Infiltrator's net sales for fiscal 2022 were $460.5 million, also up nearly 40 percent.
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