Atlas Copco expands production in United States with new Pennsylvania plantMarch 8th, 2012 | Posted by in Press Release
Atlas Copco has expanded its Fort Loudon, Pa., campus to include down-the-hole hammer production. The facility there has been making down-the-hole hammer bits since 1989.
The expansion includes a new 20,000-square-foot office, assembly and distribution facility to support the hammer assembly demands for the global market in the 4-inch and larger, QL- and TD-model hammer range.
Plant Manager Keith Mackling said, “Atlas Copco has already invested millions of dollars into Fort Loudon and this is an evolution of that investment.” Previous upgrades included state-of-the-art robotics and other machining equipment designed to meet increased business growth around the world.
The expansion of the Fort Loudon facility was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.
Guests at the event included Atlas Copco employees and management and some family members, as well as community and state representatives from the governor’s office, state legislature and area economic development organizations. In addition to the funds from Atlas Copco, the facility was supported by a grant along with incentives from the state of Pennsylvania.
For the state funds, Atlas Copco agreed to hire 15 additional workers over three years, but has already hired 17 and forecasts that it will hire double the number originally promised. “I think we’ve shown our division management a good quality product,” Mackling said about the workmanship of local employees.
“They’ve done a really good job for us,” agreed Jaco van der Merwe, Secoroc’s Vice President of Manufacturing for United States operations.
This expansion in Pennsylvania coincides with the regional growth in the Marcellus Shale formation, which is one of the United State’s top natural gas producers. State Sen. Richard Alloway II, who spoke at the event, said he expects Atlas Copco’s down-the-hole hammer and bit production to be in even greater demand as more natural gas drilling occurs in the northern part of Pennsylvania.
“We really are happy to see this growth. … As an international company, [Atlas Copco] could’ve gone anywhere to do this expansion,” Alloway said.
Gene Mattila, U.S. Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco Rock Drilling Tools is looking forward to the expansion at Fort Loudon and said, “The United States is the largest individual market for Atlas Copco’s hammers and this location is in the heart of the hard-rock drilling region.”
Van der Merwe said Atlas Copco has grown despite the rough economy and will be ready for greater production as the economy recovers. “The success at Atlas Copco is a testament of the quality of people we have,” he said.