Southwire announced the installation of new medium-voltage production technology at its manufacturing facility in Heflin, Alabama.
A press release said that the Heflin Plant was established in 1996 to increase the company’s medium-voltage capacity, as well as high-voltage production. It remained Southwire’s only facility devoted to high-voltage production until the company purchased the Huntersville facility from ABB in 2015. Now, the company is upgrading the plant to focus on increasing productivity and velocity, eliminating waste and becoming leaner. Those measures “will set the Heflin Plant on course to becoming a world-class medium voltage facility.”
The project includes increasing medium-voltage production at the facility through the expansion of the Continuous Vulcanization (CV) tower. The expansion allowed for the implementation of four CV lines, a jacket line and a test set. These upgrades allow greater flexibility to extrude both cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) and ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) insulation for medium-voltage products at the Heflin Plant.
“In 2018, funding was approved to modernize and streamline this site for medium voltage production,” said Scott Roulaine, director of modernization. “This optimization will improve material flow, reduce raw material handling and modernize aging assets.” Roulaine worked alongside David McLendon, plant manager, and Emory Barber, vice president of engineering, to complete the Heflin modernization effort. These investments and upgrades will effectively streamline Southwire’s medium voltage production efforts.
“In Heflin, as in any Southwire facility, our people are our greatest resource,” said McLendon. “They absolutely are the best in the business, and they have been doing a great job since we opened the doors here. This modernization effort will bring the technology up to their level, so they will have the right tools to utilize and to take us to a world-class medium voltage facility.”
An informal ceremony was held for each shift to explain the project’s significance. Employees signed their name on the last structural beam in the tower addition installation as a testament to their work in making the expansion possible and a commitment to ensuring the success of the project.