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Weekend edition April 26, 2024 | Tom Ballard

MVP moving all manufacturing to its new facility on Watt Road

The company bought the 125,000-square-foot facility about a year ago. It will allow for growth and expansion.

Magnum Venus Products (MVP), a global manufacturer of fluid movement and production solutions for industrial applications, is consolidating all of its manufacturing in East Tennessee after purchasing 17 acres of land and a 125,000-square-foot facility in the West Knox/Loudon County area last year.

With the purchase, MVP has relocated its manufacturing center to the facility off Watt Road this month, immediately boosting production capacity by 25 percent and enabling even greater scalability for the future. The decision to strengthen manufacturing operations in Tennessee stems from the strategic alignment of machining and fabrication capabilities with existing assembly facilities at MVP’s Knoxville location.

“This expansion is a testament to MVP’s commitment to innovation and growth, meeting the needs of our global customer base,“ said Tobi Ferguson, MVP’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “By investing in state-of-the-art facilities, we are not only enhancing our production capabilities but also creating meaningful job opportunities for the talented residents of Tennessee. With these resources strategically aligned in Knoxville, we are poised for continued success with our employees, customers, and community.”

The family-owned company will be closing its existing facility in Kent, WA, and adding at least 30 positions locally this year, primarily in production-related roles such as quality assurance, maintenance, machining, and assembly. Designed to foster innovation and collaboration, MVP’s new facility encompasses dedicated spaces for research and development, accelerating the exploration of new technologies and solutions to meet evolving market demands. The facility also includes ample room for hosting customer events and training sessions, providing a platform for engaging with partners, sharing insights, and showcasing the latest advancements.

Additionally, the new location features an expanded technical service center, and new production layout and inventory management systems to enhance process and workflow efficiencies.

MVP’s corporate office is also located in West Knoxville, and that facilitates cross-functional collaboration and decision-making processes.

“With the rapid surge in demand triggered by the challenges of the pandemic and the subsequent years, it became evident that we needed to streamline our operations, bolster resources, and strengthen our core capabilities to adequately address the escalating demand,” said Travis Silcox, Vice President of Operations at MVP. “Through the establishment of more dependable supply chain networks and enhancements in process flow, we have transformed our operations. Now, equipped with our upgraded facility, we are well-prepared to efficiently handle the increased order volume.”

Scott Andrews, the company’s Vice President of Commercialization, noted that “composites has always been MVP’s core.” That covers a more than 80-year period since the company was founded. MVP collaborates with its customers to offer tailored production solutions to meter, mix, dispense, and apply materials for the marine, infrastructure, pool and bath, oil and gas, transportation, aerospace, and wind industries.

“We will have additional capacity (in the new facility),” Andrews said, adding that the much larger footprint “will allow us to focus more on automation” as many manufacturers continue to have challenges finding qualified workers.

A little more than a year ago, we reported in this article that MVP was making an estimated $20 million investment over five years in the facility and land that would create a foundation for continued growth. That announcement came 25 months after MVP announced that Ferguson had been selected as its President and CEO. He came to Knoxville from Louisville, KY where he served as President of Vogt Ice LLC for six years.

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