Steele Solutions Inc. has completed construction of a 35,000-square-foot plant addition in Franklin that has significantly boosted its capacity to manufacture mezzanines and other steel structures for use in distribution centers, warehouses, factories and other commercial and military settings throughout the world.
"We're now able to do more, for more customers in more markets," said Kevin O'Neill, vice president for sales and marketing at Steele Solutions.
With the addition, Steele Solutions now has nearly 80,000 square feet of plant and office space at 9909 S. 57th St.
The expansion will result in the company adding at least 30 new jobs at the plant, O’Neill said.
"We increased our capacity 60 to 70 percent," O'Neill said. "The addition also allowed us to streamline the flow of operations, upgrade equipment, and add a powder paint line."
The powder coat paint line is a major contributor to the streamlined mezzanine manufacturing process, and to quality, O'Neill said.
The paint line can handle beams more than 40 feet long, efficiently applying a baked-on color coating that is highly durable and consistent.
"This powder paint line disproves the industry myth that urethane painting is superior for mezzanines and other steel structures," O'Neill said. "We've shown that powder painting provides a superior sheen, durability and color consistency."
An additional advantage of the powder line is the reduced environmental impact, as compared to urethane paint lines and their associated emissions.
Steele Solutions upgraded several pieces of CNC machinery as part of the expansion project.
The entire layout of the plant was reconfigured to provide a more efficient flow of materials for mezzanines.
The company has seen a steady increase in national and international business over the last several years. Along with U.S. installations, the company has recently shipped mezzanines to Uruguay, Paraguay, Germany, Afghanistan, Qatar, Australia and the island nation of Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean.