In May 2014, Brawler Industries acquired In-Line Plastics, LC. The move extended Brawler’s geomembrane manufacturing and fabrication abilities, joining In-Line’s large Houston facility with the acquiring company’s plant in Montana and two other facilities in Texas. This year, Brawler added an additional $10 million investment in capacity and capabilities in Houston.
The company announced its plan in July with a late 2015/early 2016 target to complete everything. That timeline has been met: Brawler’s expanded operations are nearly complete, with part of the expansion up and running and the rest slated for completion in January.
The move has enabled the manufacturer to support greater production and proprietary development initiatives, particularly in regards to scrim-reinforced and polyethylene geomembranes (LLPDE and HDPE). The expansion also has helped ensure the goal to meet or exceed the high quality marks of GRI-GM13 and GRI-GM17 standards.
Geosynthetica’s editor, Chris Kelsey, visited the Houston manufacturing location in late 2012, when it still operated under the In-Line brand and ownership. At that time, GM13 and GM17 targets were discussed as the next growth steps, but the facility personnel noted a need to expand capacity to support those goals.
When Tailwind Capital made its acquisition of In-Line through its portfolio company Brawler Industries, the Houston operation earned the security it needed to expand. It also benefited from continuity in its leadership. John Keating, who had served as President of In-Line, has since been named CEO of Brawler Industries.
GEOMEMBRANE MANUFACTURING EXPANSION
New multi-layer blown film geomembrane and high-speed lamination lines have been added as a complement to the polyethylene extrusion capacity.
With a large oil and gas market presence—a market in need of numerous customizations and quick supply of materials—the capabilities in Houston strengthen Brawler’s energy sector presence.
However, the investment may be most notable for how it assists Brawler in diversifying its containment markets. The company has a deep presence in energy, such as with frac pit and tank liners, but the expanded capacity achieved with 2015’s geomembrane manufacturing investment will support flexible liner applications in numerous other industries too.
Back in July, the company’s Vice President of Sales, Kent Metzger, recognized the need to translate into other sectors the company’s oil and gas-heavy history of providing value-engineered liners with short lead times.
“We want to build on our longstanding position in energy by providing superior quality, service, and choices to the customers in the agricultural, environmental, and construction markets,” Metzger said.
With the new capabilities nearly all operational, Brawler’s growth continues.