Shaw invests here

Published 12:16 am Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. has announced the company will implement two projects representing a multi-million dollar investment in its Andalusia extrusion plant, the company announced in a press release this week.

The upgrades will expand the process capability and resin flexibility of existing extrusion equipment.

“Shaw’s focus is to assure Andalusia’s long-term process capability and competitive position, and the move reflects the importance of the Andalusia plant to Shaw’s overall operations strategy,” the company stated.

Economic conditions have impacted the entire U.S. housing market and driven product mix changes within carpet product lines. Cary Baker, director of operations at the Andalusia facility, said Shaw continues to invest to meet the demands of the carpet and rug industry.

“As economic conditions improve, Shaw will be well positioned to service the product demand based on styling and economic demands,” Baker said. “Andalusia will continue to be a major element of Shaw’s overall extrusion and twisting/heatset operating strategy.”

The company has approximately 1,200 employees locally.

Hal Long, Shaw’s executive vice president of operations, said, “The recent upheaval on Wall Street and the American Banking System may further impact the housing market and require additional adjustments to our inventory levels. At Andalusia, we will continue to manage production levels very closely to match overall business demand.

“The plant schedules and staffing will be adjusted as required to meet projected needs for fiber production from now through early 2009,” Long said. “Going forward, based on current projections, we anticipate adding to staffing levels to meet future growth in demand for fiber.”

Baker noted that the Andalusia plant has achieved 11 million hours without a lost-time accident and improved its overall safety record by over 40 percent from 2007.

“Our employees’ commitment to safety and quality, coupled with the willingness to accept product development activities and solve product/process issues, is a cornerstone of Andalusia’s past and future success,” Baker said.

Shaw has invested more than $50 million in improvements at the Andalusia facility over the last five years.

Shaw Industries Group Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider with more than $5 billion in annual sales and approximately 31,000 associates. Headquartered in Dalton, Ga., the company manufactures and distributes carpeting, rugs, hardwood, laminate and ceramic tile for residential and commercial applications worldwide.