Today, we are pleased to announce that we will be expanding our slitting capacity in 2018. A new, state-of-the-art Slitting Line from Red Bud Industries will be installed in TMW Plant #2, near the new Generation 3 EPS Pickling Line. The line will process material from 0.030″ to 0.315″ thick from master coils of up to 60,000 lbs. It is expected to be operational late 3Q 2018.
What’s notable about this Slitting Line investment is that the EPS Coil-to-Coil Line has been the primary catalyst for it. We are now EPS pickling a large number of coils and are on the way to becoming a sizable ‘pickling center’, receiving barge loads of material from mills in the Midwest and Midsouth. Many of our EPS customers want their EPS product to come to them as slit coils ready to use without further processing. It became apparent that this demand would eventually outstrip our current slitting capacity, so the investment case for a new slitter was easily made.
This situation parallels one explained in an earlier EPS Update that prompted our decision to increase capacity of our Stretcher Leveler Cut-to-Length lines. That was done to meet the growing demand for EPS Unlimited sheet product. Although we had produced EPS Unlimited for over 3 years using our EPS Sheet Line, the much higher throughput of the EPS Coil Line foreshadowed a day when we would outstrip our Stretcher Leveling Cut-to-Length capacity. In that case, capacity increases to our two existing Stretcher Leveler CTL line was the stronger investment case than a completely new line.
But here’s the takeaway: investment in EPS production capacity should be considered based on two factors:
- The economics of the EPS line itself, based on providing its premium pickled product to your customers (see EPS Cost Calculator for estimates);
- The additional volume you stand to gain on your other processing lines as a result of offering EPS.