APCOM’s Franklin plant breaks ground on major new addition

Franklin Groundbreaking

Franklin, Tenn.—APCOM’s flagship Franklin, Tenn., plant broke ground today for a 57,750 square foot addition, increasing the size of the facility by more than 40 percent.

Construction of the addition, which will house expanded warehousing and manufacturing operations, begins next week and is scheduled to be complete by the third quarter of 2016.  It is the first expansion of the Franklin plant since 1993 and the first manufacturing expansion in the City of Franklin in more than 20 years.

“This expansion signifies the importance of APCOM to our global water heating business,” Ajita Rajendra, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation, APCOM’s parent company, said. “The APCOM team is a critical component supplier, and having this capability gives us a major competitive advantage,” he explained to the 75 people attending the groundbreaking ceremony.

Paul Dana Franklin Groundbreaking“APCOM has been experiencing solid growth over the last several years thanks to the growth of the North American water heater industry,” Paul R. Dana, president of APCOM, pointed out.  “This addition will help make our operations more efficient and provide us room for future growth.”

Also participating in the groundbreaking ceremony besides Rajendra and Dana were: Rogers Anderson, mayor of Williamson County; Ken Moore, mayor of the City of Franklin; Eric Stuckey, Franklin city administrator; Matt Largen, president of Williamson Inc.; and Bill Godwin of BACAR Constructors, the company overseeing the project.

(left to right) Ken Moore, mayor of Franklin; Eric Stuckey, Franklin city administrator; Ken Largen, president of Williamson, Inc.; Paul Dana, Rogers Anderson, mayor of Williamson County; Ajita Rajendra, president and CEO; Bill Godwin of BACAR Constructors

Initially, the expansion will enable APCOM to increase its warehousing, shipping and receiving, and service parts operations.  Approximately 34,000 square feet will be devoted to warehousing including five new shipping and five receiving doors, and one ramp for tractor/trailers. APCOM currently leases warehouse space in Franklin and nearby Cookeville, Tenn., to accommodate its inventory and logistics needs.

“This will make shipping much more efficient,” Bill Jacobs, director of operations for the Franklin plant, explained. “The expansion will give us the ability to stage orders, requiring less material handling as well as consolidate our warehousing operations.”

The expansion also will provide additional space for the company’s service parts business. APCOM markets a wide range of packaged water heater replacement parts to wholesale and retail customers nationwide.

A portion of the expansion will be set aside for new products the company intends to bring to market over the next several years.

Once the warehousing and service parts operations relocate to the new addition, APCOM plans to expand other manufacturing departments including those that make heating elements and dip tubes for water heaters.

APCOM also plans to landscape the back lot that separates its property from its neighbors. The landscaping will include 152 trees and 383 shrubs planted as part of a three-level vegetation screen.

APCOM is a leading global manufacturer of reliable water heating and appliance components with plants in Franklin and Cookeville, Tenn., and Florence, Ky. Its products include heating elements, dip tubes, thermostats, anodes, drain valves, gas burner assemblies, pipe nipples, and drain valves.