Thursday, April 18, 2024

Fibrebond announces $40M expansion of Minden campus

by BIZ Magazine

MINDEN — Fibrebond President and CEO Graham Walker today announced a $40 million dollar expansion of the company’s Minden, Louisiana campus. To meet rapidly growing demand, the company is doubling its capacity for data center and industrial projects. The announcement includes investments in automation, employee spaces, and renewable energy.

“The next phase of our growth is here,” said Fibrebond President and CEO Graham Walker. “We quietly began executing this plan 17 months ago. During that time unprecedented demand, especially in our data center market, has made this investment an urgent necessity. We are investing in technology that will double our manufacturing capacity. Our view remains that scaling production on one campus has significant advantages as we do the hard work of honoring our client commitments.”

With two manufacturing complexes already at capacity, a third manufacturing complex is being developed on the company’s 253 acre site. A 180,000 square foot high performance concrete pad will be used for the company’s electrical integration operations and will be completed in September 2023. Fibrebond will power and store completed projects on six acres of hard surface powered storage immediately adjacent to the new integration slab.

Adjacent to one of the company’s manufacturing buildings, a 90,000 square foot high-performance concrete pad has been built for the electrical integration of multi-module industrial projects. The pad is powered and is already being used for a multiyear LNG export project.

The company is expanding its equipment warehouse by 80,000 square feet. This space will be climate-controlled and have a 20-ton overhead crane to handle electrical equipment.

After this expansion, Fibrebond’s manufacturing campus will have over 650,000 square feet under roof and 410,000 square feet of powered integration pads.

Fibrebond is building new training and breakroom spaces for its 510 employees and 200 onsite contractors. Additionally, the company is retrofitting a rooftop solar array to self-generate electricity to its campus.

“The mutual trust we have among the Fibrebond team is critical to our success,” says Walker. “People have invested their careers with this business, and we want to honor them by making Fibrebond the best place to work in North Louisiana. That pride is essential to what we build and what our clients experience.”

The company’s continued investments in automation will result in the insourcing of manufacturing processes to its Louisiana campus.

An integrated beam system will shotblast, cut, and drill structural members up to 71’ long. Structural steel will be delivered via 900’ of automated conveying systems. Steel plate will be processed in house with a 100’ dual gantry plasma table. Overhead cranes with 230 tons of lifting capacity will cover 66,000 square feet of welding stations. This structural steel automation will be fully operational by December 2023.

Furthermore, to enhance manufacturing capacity for Fibrebond’s interlocking panel system, a new all-in-one machine is being commissioned in early 2024. This machine will handle tasks such as decoiling, punching, and roll forming steel coils. Like the structural steel process, this automation will be driven by Fibrebond’s proprietary 3D modeling.

“Through automation, we will double our production capacity while reducing steel waste by over 90%. With changing fire and energy codes, the versatility of our structural manufacturing process gives clients options as they leverage our offsite electrical integration. We have to build smarter as our customers scale,” says Walker.

As part of this expansion announcement, the company is precision-leveling a 12.1 acre site for a future 300,000 square foot electrical integration facility. A final investment decision on the new integration facility will be made in the first quarter of 2024. 

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