Superior Essex Communications says it will spend $73 million to expand the production capacity of its Brownwood, TX, fiber-optic cable manufacturing plant. The expansion will help meet the increased demand for outside plant (OSP) fiber cables, drop fiber, and hybrid cables, particularly for broadband network requirements in the U.S.
The expansion project will see the installation of improved manufacturing equipment as well as an additional 90,000 square feet of space next to the current Brownwood plant. The footprint extension will bring the facility’s total to more than 500,000 total square feet of production. Superior Essex says it expects the initiative to create 170 new manufacturing jobs. The company expects to convert some existing jobs from legacy OSP copper cable manufacturing to that of fiber cables as well.
Superior Essex expects the expansion will follow green building practices, such as power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting and the use of repurposed equipment. The company says it also will explore the use of solar and battery power sources for the plant.
“The Brownwood plant improvements are not only an investment in our company, but also an investment in U.S. manufacturing and in communities across America,” said Superior Essex Communications President Brad Johnson. “This expansion will create manufacturing jobs right here in America, which will bring more employment opportunities to the Brownwood region and boost production of American-made broadband products. In doing so, we’re demonstrating our commitment to providing ‘Build America, Buy America’ products that help deliver high-speed broadband services to communities across the nation.”
Superior Essex joins a growing number of fiber cabling manufacturers who have announced capacity expansion programs to keep pace with the demand for fiber broadband deployments (see, for example, "Corning opens new Hickory, NC, optical cable manufacturing campus," "CommScope to increase fiber cable production, roll out new HeliARC cables," and "Prysmian beefing up North American fiber cable production").
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