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Back in the US: Whirlpool brings manufacturing home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a move that’s sure to be seen as a boon for American manufacturing, Whirlpool Corporation has announced its plans to move the production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Monterrey, Mexico to Clyde, Ohio, with production officially beginning in April 2014.

"We continue to invest in advanced manufacturing processes in our Clyde, Ohio plant where we have a highly skilled workforce, making this a smart, long-term business decision for us," said Jeff Durham,VP U.S. manufacturing for Whirlpool Corporation. "We look forward to ramping up production and building this quality product, for the U.S. and abroad, right here in Clyde Ohio."

According to the company, this is part of an overall strategy to build products in the same regions where they are primarily sold. The relocation will create 80-100 new jobs in Clyde over the next three years, as well as increase operational efficiencies.

The Clyde plant, at 2.4 million sq. ft., is the largest washing machine plant in the world, according to the company. All residential washers are currently produced there.

The washing machines in question are primarily sold in the U.S., with only 10% being exported to Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia. 

Meanwhile, Whirlpool’s Mexico facility will add a new residential washer production line for the Mexico market.

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Johns Manville stocks mineral wool insulation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Johns Manville added commercial and residential mineral wool insulation to its product mix.

“Mineral wool is a great addition to JM’s already robust line of insulation products,” said Fred Stephan, SVP insulation systems at Johns Manville. “Building occupants benefit from acoustically superior environments, moisture protection and increased fire performance. Contractors also enhance their bottom line because it’s rigid for accurate cutting and fitting, compressed and durable for easy transport and requires zero downtime during installation.”

The wool is made from high-density inorganic fibers and is manufactured using an advanced process, which results in a low amount of shot material and product consistency. According to the company, Johns Manville is the only manufacturer providing compression packaging for mineral wool products.

Mineral wool has a high melting point — over 2000°F — which can help delay the spread of fire, as well as provide better insulation from sound and reduce energy costs.

JM mineral wool lends itself to easy, accurate cuts and is available in various thicknesses and sizes.

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Kodiak acquires Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Denver-based Kodiak Building Partners expanded its footprint in the gypsum distribution market with the acquisition of Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply, also of Denver. 

Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply’s team of 57 people will remain in place, with Greg Lyon leading the combined drywall operations of Jones-Heartz and Great West Drywall Supply, acquired by Kodiak in 2012. 

"We are very excited about having Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply join our team," said Paul Hylbert, Kodiak chairman. "Greg Lyon has built a fine organization and developed a terrific business. In addition to giving us a strong presence in Denver, the company and capable people offer us a platform on which to grow throughout the Mountain Range States."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kodiak Building Partners, founded in 2011, also includes in its portfolio Barton Supply, Gulf and Basco, and New England Building Supply.

Steve Swinney, Kodiak president and chief operating officer, said: "I am thrilled to be partnering with Greg to expand our drywall distribution operations. It is a platform that we want to continue to grow and I look forward to working with Greg to do that in 2014 and beyond."

With 20 delivery trucks, Jones-Heartz is described as the largest independent drywall distributor in the state of Colorado. It was founded in 1997, with a product mix ranging from wallboard, studs and trim to stucco and cover insulation.

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