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TIC’s Control Plant Expansion: Creating Jobs, Space, Quality

Mon, 07/22/2013 - 8:02am
Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

What products will be manufactured in the Control Plant South?

Products manufactured in Control Plant South include Low Voltage Drives, Medium Voltage Drives, and transportation propulsion inverters.

Why did Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) expand the Control Plant?

TIC required more capacity to produce medium voltage adjustable speed drives to meet increasing demand, as well as keep up with the growth of our other product lines including low voltage drives, motors starters, and rail transit products.

Who will be staffing the expanded plant?

TIC expects the expansion to bring an estimated 100 additional jobs to the Houston area.

TICAlthough commonly recognized for quality consumer products, nearly 70 percent of Toshiba’s global business is B2B. With North American being Toshiba’s number one overseas market, Toshiba International Corporation (TIC), based in Houston, Texas, plays a key role in meeting the demand for industrial products.

TIC’s medium voltage adjustable speed drives have received great acceptance in industries such as oil & gas. In order to meet the demand of the customer, it was necessary to expand manufacturing. This expansion allows the plant to double the capacity of its medium voltage adjustable speed drive product line. “The control plant expansion provides an additional 107,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space,” says Don Robinson, Control Plant Manager at TIC. “Additionally, the expansion is expected to create 100 more jobs in the Houston area, which is known for its quality manufacturing workforce.”

The expansion also frees up greater capacity for other growing product lines such as large low voltage adjustable speed drives and propulsion inverters for rail transit. This is the second time the control plant has expanded within the last five years.

“Our adjustable speed drives are in high demand, particularly within the Oil & Gas industry,” adds Robinson. “This expansion will help us to expedite the manufacturing process and delivery to our customers in this market.”

An industrial motor plant and power electronics plant also reside on the same campus as the control plant. The motor plant manufactures low and medium voltage electric motors and the power electronics plant manufactures low voltage adjustable speed drives and uninterruptible power systems.

A key advantage to customers having all of the manufacturing under “one roof” is customization and system testing. TIC has the ability to test its products together, as a complete system, before leaving the facility. This does not happen often. Many times, products, such as the motor and drive, are not tested together until arriving in the field. TIC also has R&D, design, and engineering in-house. This full service process makes it easier to provide customized products to meet the unique needs of customers. Over 80 percent of TIC medium voltage adjustable speed drives are customized to customer specifications. “The drives produced by Toshiba are of the highest quality, resulting in customers purchasing from Toshiba for decades,” Robinson adds. “We strive to be at the forefront of technology, which makes our drives so desirable.”

With that said, TIC does plan to start offering stock inventory of its medium voltage adjustable speed drives. The expansion will allow TIC to do this, which is a great benefit to the customer.

“Toshiba is also changing up the manufacturing processes within the Control Plant to further improve quality and reduce lead times.  We will be devoting more resources for training our employees with the changes we are making to the manufacturing process.  The expansion will enable us to better serve our customers.”

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