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Gage Brothers Expands Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Plant

07/10/2017
Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated, a leading manufacturer of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products, plans a new plant at 2800 N. Bahnson Avenue off of Interstate 229, in northeast Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Current operations are scattered between sixteen buildings on thirty acres. The new plant will consolidate machinery and employees into a single 210,000-square-foot facility spread across 45 acres.

“We are celebrating our proud South Dakota heritage, the growing popularity of Gage Brothers products in national markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great employee owners who are the backbone of our success,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley.

“Our end goal is to continue to provide top quality products and create an even better experience for our clients,” said Kelley. "We want to continue to set the standard for the precast concrete industry and the new building gives us the space we need to do so."

Once completed, state officials said the new facility, expected to cost about $40 million, will increase Gage Brothers’ manufacturing capacity by 60-percent and play a central role in expanding the company’s geographic footprint in the United States.

Approximately 95 percent of the precast concrete production process will be indoors, compared to 65 percent at the current Gage Brothers location. This will remove employees from risks associated with working outdoors, such as extreme cold and sun exposure.

Gage Brothers has also taken proactive steps to be prepared for the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) silica exposure rule that will take effect next summer for the manufacturing industry.

The rule reduces permissible exposure limits for respirable crystalline silica significantly and requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure. Industries have 1-to-5 years to comply with most requirements.

The elimination of sandblasting process will remove the health hazards associated with silica dust. Gage Brothers will also phase out its current acid-etching finishing process. This process will be replaced with a technique that will be more environmentally friendly.

With its new plant, Gage Brothers will make a clean break from its previous approaches to production. The use of robust machinery and intelligent software will optimize the entire process chain and allow employees to complete tasks with “more brain with less brawn.”

"We are applying automation and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees,” said Kelley. “Through on-the-job training, we will also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as process control and quality control.”

"Our new plant will harness both automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in Sioux Falls," said Kelley. “Our goal is to increase production by 60 percent with only a 20 percent increase in workforce.”

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