Gastite Doubles Output

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Gastite, the Springfield, Mass., maker of flexible gas piping is undergoing a massive transformation in its production capacity as a result of unprecedented demand for its principal product.

April 28, 2000
Carmin Lattell and Duane Shooltz are leading a huge increase in production capacity at Gastite, a flexible gas piping manufacturer benefiting from the growing acceptance of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) for use in new homes.

 

Gastite, the Springfield, Mass., maker of flexible gas piping is undergoing a massive transformation in its production capacity as a result of unprecedented demand for its principal product.

By the fall, Gastite expects to have doubled its capacity to make corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), from 15 million linear feet to 30 million, in less than a year. For newly promoted general manager Duane Shooltz, the spike in demand is a key milestone in the acceptance of the product versus rigid metal piping systems - copper tubing and black iron pipe. Last year CSST totaled 30% of the interior gas piping market for residential and light-commercial installs, research firm Foster-Miller Inc. estimates.

CSST’s rise is closely associated with labor cost savings and a strong safety record since its introduction in the U.S. in 1991, says Carmin Lattell, director of sales and marketing who until February served as national sales manager. He estimates that CSST installs in a third to half the time of rigid pipe.

"CSST, because it is a flexible hose that needs relatively few connections, allows installers to do more jobs with the same-sized workforce," notes Lattell. "As a result, acceptance has really taken off over the past year or so."

With high demand, lead times in late’99 grew to 45 days. In November, Gastite added the first of four new production lines bringing lead times down to 20 days. This month it expects to have added another line eliminating delays completely.

"When our distributors and their contractors see the commitment we are making," says Shooltz, "I think they’ll recognize that these delivery problems are temporary."

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