Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Expansion in the future for Vacaville's Simpson Dura-Vent

Article Launched: 01/17/2006 02:42:51 AM

Expansion in the future for Simpson Dura-Vent

By Amanda Janis/Business Writer

Simpson Dura-Vent on Aldridge Road in Vacaville, the leading producer of hearth-venting products in North America, is about to add additional space, employees and equipment. (Brad Zweerink/The Reporter)

Business is heating up for Simpson Dura-Vent. Its Vacaville facility soon will hire additional employees, remodel portions of its facilities, install $4.5 million in capital equipment, and likely will begin a 50,000-square-foot addition, according to its Vice President of Manufacturing, Mike Bruce.

Bruce noted that the company hired 25 new employees Jan. 1, will hire another 25 July 1, and with regard to the 75 temporary workers hired since August, he said it doesn't look as though the company will be sending them back to their agencies any time soon, because, quite simply, business is booming.

Simpson Dura-Vent is the leading producer of hearth-venting products in North America.

"Business is up about 30 percent," Bruce confirmed.

Approximately $9 million will be invested in equipment installations between the company's locations in Mississippi and Vacaville. Some of the equipment will be manufactured by Vacaville's General Machining.

In Vacaville, Simpson Dura-Vent has two buildings off Vaca Valley Parkway - located on Aldridge Road and on Cotting Lane - which will undergo substantial changes in coming months.

The Cotting Lane facility soon will be remodeled internally, Bruce said, in order to accommodate an additional three sales and marketing employees, change the entrance location, and double the size of its research and development laboratory, which will take on an additional engineer.

He explained that the lab addition "will double the amount of testing on our product, so that we can introduce new product for the field."

The company also has major plans for its Aldrige Road facility, which has been leased for the past 20 years.

"We have plans and an agreement to buy," confirmed President Steve Eberhard, who said the acquisition should take place around November.

A substantial addition of 50,000 square feet is planned for the Aldrige facility, according to Bruce, which could happen before the lease expires.

"It just depends on business," Bruce said.

In addition to General Machining, many local companies will be involved with Simpson Dura-Vent's remodel and expansion, including Wulff Electric, Recknagel Contracting, Taylor Made Roofing, and O'Hara Metal Products.

Amanda Janis can be reached at business@thereporter.com.

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