To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of manufacturing in Pennsylvania are greatly exaggerated.
A case in point is IPEG, Inc., an equipment manufacturer serving the global plastics processing, waste recycling and industrial heat-transfer markets.
Headquartered in Cranberry, IPEG just announced the acquisition of a fourth subsidiary: Lancaster’s Pelletron, a supplier of pneumatic conveying equipment, dust removal systems and other products for plastics manufacturing.
And in late February, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team announced that IPEG would expand in Cranberry and at its Franklin manufacturing plant, creating 35 new jobs and retaining 234 existing positions.
According to Chris Keller, IPEG’s president and CEO, Franklin is one of the company’s major U.S. plants. The company will invest more than $1.4 million there to reconfigure the facility and purchase new, ergonomic equipment to “not only create efficiency, but to free up significant floor place for future growth.”
Improvements include the relocation of receiving operations and the purchase of a new overhead crane and material storage systems. IPEG received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that includes a $100,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, $70,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, and almost $16,000 for job training.
IPEG has over 500 employees worldwide, and about half are in Pennsylvania. The company remains firmly committed to Western Pennsylvania, insists Keller, “because of the huge critical mass of talent that exists here today.”
IPEG has grown both organically and through acquisitions. Besides Pelletron, its subsidiaries include Conair, a leading global leading supplier of auxiliary equipment and solutions for plastics processors; Republic Machine, which manufactures and sells shredders of plastic, wood, carpeting, rubber and medical waste; and Thermal Care, a maker of industrial cooling and heat-removal systems.