Fox Valley Metal-Tech (FVMT) announced that it is expanding its Green Bay, Wisconsin-based facility to accommodate growth and increase its precision metal fabrication, assembly, and finishing capabilities for its commercial and military customers. The new addition to their current facility is expected to be completed in April 2022 and is being constructed by Consolidated Construction Company, Inc., a Fox-Cities based firm.
The additional 74,800 square feet of building space is the next phase in FVMT’s strategic plan, bringing the total footprint of their facility to more than 175,000 square feet.
Fox Valley Metal-Tech has been a trusted and relied-upon source of precision metal fabrication for the U.S. Defense Department, having produced products for numerous naval ships, radar systems, submarines, and other critical applications. As the scope of projects and the number of prominent customers have grown, the company recognized the need to grow the facility size, and to combine their entire operations into a single facility.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in the past 32 years,” said John West, President of Fox Valley Metal-Tech. “During that time we’ve consolidated locations, leased additional space, and modified office and storage areas to accommodate that growth. In fact, this is our fifth expansion over the last 30 years, and our most ambitious. With the added manufacturing space and resulting efficiencies, we have the potential to nearly double our revenue in the next few years.”
FVMT added painting and finishing services eight years ago which required the leasing of an offsite facility, adding unnecessary costs and bottlenecks. Fabricated products required transportation back and forth between facilities, along with extensive protective packaging and extra rigging. Once painted, protective packaging needed to be reinstalled for its return to the main facility for assembly. In addition to the unnecessary waste and inefficiencies, there were extra costs for supervision and duplicative IT, security, computer firewalls, and other technology requirements. Increased productivity and improved efficiencies will be an inherent benefit of moving finishing operations back to the main facility.
In addition to painting and finishing, all warehousing is now onsite with enough space to keep dedicated materials separate. Having everything under one roof provides a clear path and streamlined workflow for a project from beginning to end.
Over the years, FVMT has made several capital equipment purchases to increase capacity and provide capabilities to build large precision fabrications. Some examples include a large boring bar unit, sawing equipment, bridge machine for vertical milling, laser system, and other automation systems. Collectively, the added machines took up a considerably large 25,000-square-foot footprint of manufacturing space.
The size of many custom projects has also increased, including the fabrication of large, watertight doors for the shipbuilding industry. The new building addition allows for increased crane capacity to accommodate more of these types of larger projects simultaneously while improving flow and efficiency.
In addition to the need for increased space, FVMT recognized the importance of further demonstrating they are an employer of choice in the metal fabrication industry. The enlarged facility creates capacity for additional first-shift positions to help attract more highly skilled workers. The entire manufacturing facility features a climate-controlled environment and state-of-the-art ventilation system year-round, allowing team members to operate equipment and complete their work in comfort.
FVMT added 20 employees in 2021, which equates to approximately 15% growth, with more positions still being added. Several large projects are scheduled that will continue through 2023, creating the potential to add another 10% in job growth during that time.
Employees located at the leased offsite painting and finishing facility will now work at the same facility as all FVMT team members, creating more synergy, improving culture, and streamlining workflows.
Choosing Consolidated Construction as the contractor for the FVMT expansion was also a strategic decision. The construction company is part of the community, which was important to FVMT, and has demonstrated expertise in constructing manufacturing facilities. The relationship with Consolidated Construction began a few years ago when the firm helped FVMT reorganize its offices and shop floor and conducted studies on how to maximize existing space until additional square footage could be added.
FVMT also found value in Consolidated Construction’s design-build and construction management services that included a team of architects and builders. The construction firm proposed an expansion solution and helped to overcome potential challenges, including soil assessments, sewer and water hookups, roof runoff and retention ponds, and municipal building code requirements. The company also offered solutions to procure metal and steel construction materials amid supply chain disruption to help keep the project on schedule.
Consolidated Construction also helped support FVMT’s ongoing green initiatives. The metal fabrication company previously upgraded to LED lighting and implemented high efficiency air compressors. The expanded facility will further those efforts by including efficient air handling and HVAC. The reduction of transportation and extra packaging required to accommodate multiple remote facilities, however, will likely be the greatest contribution to their ongoing green initiatives.
The new expansion positions Fox Valley Metal-Tech to accommodate future growth and to expand its services to its defense and commercial clients. For more information on the expansion project or to inquire about FVMT’s metal fabrication capabilities, contact their team of experts today.