Grovetown manufacturer opens key piece of expansion

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A key piece of the expansion at GIW in Grovetown is built and will begin producing giant pumps in January.

Under construction since early 2014, the 72-foot-tall foundry houses new furnaces, sand silos and six cranes to accommodate the large-scale slurry pumps produced at the site. The new foundry and a distribution center still under construction are part of an expansion plan that should triple the manufacturing capabilities.

The German-owned company is spending $75 million on the Grovetown site.

Richard Sterzen, the industrial engineering manager at the site, said the pumps created by the foundry are powerful enough to “empty an Olympic-sized pool in 2 seconds.” Most of the pumps are meant for mining operations in Canada and South America.

Sterzen said 25 employees were hired during the construction process in anticipation of opening the new foundry.

He also said a new machining shop should be added to the site in 2018. The expansion should result in 50 more workers at GIW. The site on the outskirts of Grovetown employs more than 600 people.

The distribution center is slated to be operational in the middle of 2016.

The new foundry was needed in order to handle the size of castings for the slurry pumps. According to the company, some produced by GIW can weigh well over 40,000 pounds and are bigger than a cement truck.

GIW, formerly known as Georgia Iron Works, is owned by KSB Group in Germany. The $75 million project is the largest in the company's history. Some $40 million of the expansion cost is related to the new foundry.

By Tim Rausch Fri, May 06, 2016 @ 7:00 am