Rapid Granulator opening Pittsburgh production facility
The multi-million dollar operation will “take back full control of U.S. production,” the Swedish firm said.
In a bid to bring its most important market “back under its full control,” size reduction equipment maker Rapid Granulator is making one of its biggest investments in decades in the U.S.
Rapid, which is headquartered in Bredaryd, Sweden, has made a multi-million dollar investment in Pittsburgh, Pa. to build a new facility for in-house production of its full product range of equipment for granulating and shredding plastics. In addition to manufacturing space, the new 65,000-square-foot plant in Pittsburgh also includes a showroom, warehousing, and offices.
“This is an extremely important move for Rapid,” said Jim Hoffman, the firm’s vice president of sales and marketing. “In the near future, we will have full control over U.S. production, just like we have in Sweden and just like we had here in the past. It is really important for us to have the responsibility for the quality and reliability of our equipment in our own hands.”
Hoffman, who has been with Rapid for 26 years, said the company is returning to its roots, 40 years after it first set up operations in the U.S. “Up until 2008, we had our own production in Illinois, but then we became part of a bigger group, and production was merged with that of other group members in Pittsburgh,” he said. “We have been out-sourcing production in the U.S. since 2008, and we have been very successful here. But we are very ambitious: the North American market right now is healthy and growing, but we want to grow even faster.”
Rapid was acquired by Swedish company, Lifco, just over two years ago. U.S. production has continued uninterrupted at the previous owner’s operations, but now Rapid is taking everything back in-house. “We are passionate about our products and this passion is reinforced when you have total control of the finished product all the way through to when it is going out the door,” Hoffman said. “We are very grateful to our new owners for having the strength and confidence to make this important move, and we are going to show them that it was the right thing to do.”
In-house production in Pittsburgh is scheduled to begin early in the second quarter of this year.
The investment in the new Pittsburgh facility comes on the heels of a major extension to Rapid’s test facilities at its headquarters in Bredaryd. “Both initiatives are the result of an important strategic investment made by Lifco,” Hoffman said.