Perryman Co. buys former Caterpillar site to expand titanium production

Michael Bradwell
Observer Reporter

Perryman Co. said Wednesday it purchased the former Caterpillar site – approximately 35 acres of land – adjacent to its current headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Houston where it will create an advanced manufacturing campus for its titanium products.

Company President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Perryman said later Wednesday opening up the former mining machinery manufacturing campus that closed last year as a result of the downturn in the coal industry, won’t happen overnight.

He said the need for infrastructure improvements, particularly an electrical upgrade to run furnaces, will take some time. He added Caterpiller will remain a tenant for awhile.

“We hope to start (making improvements) by year’s end,” Perryman said of the new property. He declined to say how much the company paid for the property. He said the start of manufacturing will depend on how quickly the utilities can be upgraded.

The company said in a news release the new campus will complement the fully integrated titanium operations of its other campuses location in Houston, California Technology Park and Frackville, Schuylkill County.

Perryman said his company currently employs 525 people across the three facilities. He said the new property will mean additional hiring in Washington County, but will occur over time as the new facility builds business.

He added the purchase represents Perryman’s ongoing commitment to Washington County.

Perryman noted over the last eight years, the company has continued to invest in additional manufacturing capacity across all of its operations, as well as expanding its footprint through acquisition.

“The vision for Perryman to maintain sustainable growth has been in place since 2008,” he said. “At its core is the commitment to meeting the needs of our customers and to be ready to support them in advance of their requirements. With this investment, Perryman will be in position to support its current and future growth for the next 10 to 15 years.”

Aerospace and medical industries continue to be key drivers for Perryman’s titanium products.

“Technology advancements in materials are occurring simultaneously with advancements in new aircraft design and orthopedic procedures,” he said. “This campus will be dedicated to supporting Perryman’s growth opportunities in these and other industries,” Perryman said.

The company noted titanium used in the additive/3D industry has been identified as an area for immediate growth.

While additive manufacturing is viewed by many as a transformative technology, Perryman said his company has been supporting titanium additive/3D users for more than a decade.

He said the company sells titanium for use by powdered metals producers, as well as its titanium wire products.

“We’re on the raw materials side” of what is happening in the use of metals in additive manufacturing which uses 3D printing to create parts, he said, adding the process has now reached the point of scaling up from what has been being developed with the new production discipline.

“Our strength as a fully integrated titanium producer uniquely positions us to support the growth of this emerging industry,” he said. “Our aim is to ensure there’s a reliable, high quality source of supply,” he said, adding the new campus will provide a solid foundation for Perryman to proactively expand titanium operations.

A titanium global leader, Perryman, founded in 1988, supplies and services customers in the aerospace, medical, consumer, industrial, recreation and infrastructure markets worldwide.