CertainTeed Corporation culminated two years of construction with the official dedication of a new state-of-the-art, four-wide laminated roofing shingle production line at its manufacturing plant in Oxford, N.C. In addition to adding a new production line, the endeavor also included construction of a 65,000-square-foot building and substantial en-hancements to the surrounding property.
CertainTeed customers - both distributors and professional roofing contractors - joined local and state dignitaries for the ceremony celebrating the completion of the expansion this summer. The expansion, which the company says makes Oxford the largest roofing plant in the world, began in early 2005 to support the rapid and growing demand for the company’s Landmark™ laminated shingles in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States.
"The plant expansion was sparked by increased popularity of our Landmark Series line of laminated roofing shingles in the Eastern United States. These products feature the Widetrack wide nail zone, and the expansion allows us to keep up with demand while exceeding customer service expectations with fast, accurate order fulfillment." said John Donaldson, president of CertainTeed Roofing.
“North Carolina has been the home of the Oxford manufacturing plant for more than 25 years, and we are now proud to be able to call ourselves the home of the world’s largest roofing facility,” North Carolina Governor Mike Easley said. “We will continue to supply the skilled workforce, make the necessary investments in education and keep our tax burden low so companies such as CertainTeed can thrive and grow in our state.”
The Oxford plant currently employs more than 200 people and is adding approximately 55 new jobs with the expan-sion. The facility already manufactures a number of high-end architectural shingles, including the Centennial Slate™, Grand Manor Shangle®, Carriage House Shangle™, and Hatteras®. The plant has also been honored inter-nationally for safety by CertainTeed’s parent company, Saint-Gobain.
“We take great pride in having a workforce committed to working safely and to making the most innovative roofing products in the industry,” said Mark Heilman, Oxford Plant Manager. “This expansion was successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees who worked tirelessly to complete the project on time, under budget, and above all else … safely.”
About the Plant“We have a great team in place, a lot of support from other plants, and it went better than expected,” said Heilman of the new construction. “We had some shutdowns, for electrical tie-ins, but disruptions were kept to a minimum.”
The new line is a four-wide laminated machine, and it is 900 feet from tip to stern. “It’s a top-notch machine with new technology,” Heilman said. “It’s like something from Star Wars.” With the new line, the plant now has seven different production lines, but Heilman indicated that the other six were not shut down for significant amounts of time during the addition, and the company made the most of scheduled downtime for annual maintenance.
The range of products the plant can handle is greatly increased. “It’s a logistical beast,” said Heilman. “We handle 280 different SKUs - everything from a basic three-tab to the high-end Grand Manor to the Centennial Slate - the most complicated shingle there is in the word.”
The goal is to help the contractor customer by making sure all of the company’s products are available, noted Heil-man. “We’re centrally located, and virtually anything the company makes we have here,” he said. “What we don’t make here, we have in stock.”
Workers have been optimistic about the changes, says Heilman. “People are excited. Everyone is cross-trained. We’ve never had a major layoff since 1978, and we add temporary workers during the summer.” Quality is important, says Heilman, but safety is the top priority. “Safety is No. 1 thing we do here,” says Heilman. “We talk it, we preach it, and we build it into our machines. It’s not just a program - it’s a culture.”
For more information, visit www.certainteed.com.