The consolidation will result in significant expansion of the company’s existing production capacity in Wilmington.
KMS has also started a consultation process between its subsidiary Koch Membrane Systems GmbH and its Works Council on a proposal to close the company’s manufacturing site in Aachen, Germany.
“The demand for these products is growing at double-digit rates,” said Mark Farrell, vice president of Global Membrane Manufacturing and Systems Engineering. “Our Wilmington campus was the natural location to add the capacity we needed. We own the campus and have an excellent relationship with the Town of Wilmington, where we have been located for almost 40 years. We also take pride in being the only major supplier of supported hollow fiber membranes for the water industry which produces membranes in the United States.”
Farrell added that “co-locating with our other membrane manufacturing lines allows us to take advantage of economies of scale with respect to raw material handling, logistics, and quality assurance.”
“We have increased capacity at the Aachen factory in the past, but the size and layout limitations of the facility we lease there do not lend themselves to further expansion or to the implementation of additional lean manufacturing practices,” explained Farrell. “Ultimately, it simply makes more sense to invest in a property we own as opposed to one we rent.”