To support increased demand for their PUPI line of fiberglass utility products, GEOTEK of Minnesota has announced its intent to expand a recently purchased production facility. The $5.9 million investment would substantially increase the size of the facility GEOTEK purchased in 2018 and add additional equipment to support production. Including this proposed expansion, the company will have effectively doubled overall manufacturing capacity since 2017.
“We’re excited to continue our investment in PUPI fiberglass crossarms for electric utilities, Ben Wiltsie, GEOTEK CEO says. "Construction for the proposed 65,000-sq- ft expansion will begin late 2019 and be complete in mid-2020. This strategic investment will also help us continue to meet an unprecedented increase in demand for our PUPI products across the country and around the world.”
Wiltsie continues, “Facility expansion will support production to maintain the industry’s most competitive lead times, advance mechanical testing capabilities and support business growth not only within our well-established electricity distribution market but also within the power transmission market for larger electrical structures.”
When complete, the company campus will encompass 33 acres and more than 230,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space.
Due to increases in frequency and intensity of natural disasters and their effects on an aging electrical infrastructure, “grid hardening” has become a critical initiative for most electrical utilities. These efforts include risk mitigation planning to reduce the impacts of electrical failures as well as improvements to the overall resilience of their electrical systems.
“In addition to the benefit of a lower total cost of ownership relative to historic materials, electric utilities are really starting to embrace the grid-hardening potential of PUPI fiberglass crossarms,” says Brandon Bubak, GEOTEK-PUPI vice president of global sales and marketing. “We’re in the business of reliability and utilities around the globe are making a change from traditional wood crossarms to an engineered fiberglass product. This transition results in a more robust grid requiring far less maintenance, a significantly longer and more consistent service life, and superior resilience to storm events and other natural disasters that can negatively impact the communities that a utility serves.”
GEOTEK has designed PUPI crossarms with the specific needs of electric utilities in mind, and offer the most proven and time-tested technology in the industry. This focus on long-term reliability has directly led to significant customer loyalty requiring this third major site expansion in under eight years.