[caption id="attachment_224790" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] NVP and Barrette Outdoor Living officials were joined by Kent County and state officials to break ground on the NVP 13,000 square-foot plant expansion on Wednesday. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
CHESWOLD — Marking another landmark in its steady growth, National Vinyl Products (NVP) broke ground Wednesday on a 13,000-square-foot plant expansion that will allow it to create its own PVC mixture on site by early 2023.The vinyl fence and railing manufacturer bought the former PPG Architectural Coatings plant in 2020 as a joint venture. Once the sale was complete, NVP started making renovations for its second plant, which included roughly 100,000 square feet for production. Last fall, NVP was acquired by Barrette Outdoor Living, a rival company that produces vinyl and aluminum fences, railing, decking, privacy screens and plastic lattices.The plant expansion will serve as a state-of-the-art raw material processing center, and will include an on-site PCV recycling center — taking recycled PVC and turning it into a base for some of its products. Today, NVP has 96 employees and with the expansion it’s possible to add another 20 employees. Ten employees at least will work at the recycling component.“This is really going to allow us to control our own destiny,” NVP Cheswold Plant Manager Justin Hadfield told the Delaware Business Times. “This site will give us the ability to mix our own compounds and make our own future.” In addition, the expansion will add more production capacity and bring state-of-the-art equipment to the floor, accessed through Barrett, to maximize its reach on the East Coast. NVP Cheswold has the capacity to put out 70 million pounds of products.PVC resin is shipped via railroad, with a spur lining up with the building. When the resin powder PVC is compounded and blended, it‘s fed through a machine and comes out a heated barrel. The plastic stretches like a taffy through 400-degree heat, time and pressure. Then, the material is pushed in between two plates on each side, four blocks of plates each, to mold the shape. The product is cooled through a combination of water and vacuuming in the calibration process.
[caption id="attachment_224791" align="alignleft" width="300"] NVP Shift Supervisor Michael Johnson holds some of the raw material that will become a vinyl fence component, which will be made on site in the new expansion. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
On average, seven trucks are filled with 28 bundles of product per day. In the last four years, NVP officials estimate it produced 4 million feet of vinyl for customers across the country.Barrette Outdoor Living CEO Jean desAutels told DBT that sales have been thriving since the pandemic, as many people were at home and embarking on renovation projects. As a product made in America, the vinyl fence and railing manufacturer was not as hit hard like other overseas companies.“A lot of people ordered a ton of inventory in 2021, almost expecting this year to be a disaster for the supply chain. But we’re all seeing a bit of a slowdown, just not at the installation side,” desAutels said.Barrette Outdoor Living acquired its rival NVP mainly because of shared values on sustainability goals and hard work ethic, he added. But the company’s strength in the market as well as its strategic location in Delaware also made it attractive.“The East Coast is the largest market for vinyl-based products, so here we’re also reducing our transportation costs,” desAutels said.In June, it was announced that Barrette Outdoor Living would be acquired by Oldcastle APG, another major provider of outdoor living and building materials.