YKK Celebrates Expansion
AP America completed Phase I of its capacity expansion at its Dublin,
Ga., commercial products plant in December 2006. But that didn't
seem to dampen the spirit of the company executives and local dignitaries
who came out on Thursday to celebrate the official opening of Phase
I and the ground breaking for Phase II.
It's easy to see why there's such enthusiasm. Atlanta-based YKK,
whose Japanese parent company is well-known for manufacturing zippers
and fasteners, expects the new additions to double the amount of
architectural building products, such as curtainwalls, that it produces,
fabricates and ships out of the Dublin facility. Phase I of the
expansion expanded the plant's raw materials capacity by adding
a new melting and casting operation. Phase II will add additional
floor space, new machinery, in the company's profile and fabrication
operations, and more office space.
"The technology [in the expansion] is a newer version of what
we have," says Oliver Stepe, senior vice president for YKK
These new machines will mean more efficiencies and possibly shorter
lead times, according to Greg Hultquist, vice president of manufacturing
for YKK AP America. "These processes will be more efficient
than the ones we have today, probably as much as 30 to 40 percent
more efficient," he says.
Political officials from Dublin and nearby Laurens County were
pleased because the expansion could add up to 200 jobs to the local
economy when it's completed in 2010. YKK AP, which opened the Dublin
facility in 1992, is already one of the biggest employers in the
The expansion comes a year after the company opened up a residential
products plant less than an hour away in Macon. That plant heralded
the company's arrival in the North American residential market.