Concrete Pipe & Precast Increases Capacity in Response to Record Demand

Published by Hank Gottschalk

The second half of 2021 saw an unexpected increase in demand for concrete pipe in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This demand for RCP increased at a faster rate than ever recorded and all signs indicate that the demand is expected to continue. Although the three CP&P Mid-Atlantic pipe facilities produced 11% more concrete pipe in 2021 than in 2020, shipping continued to exceed production throughout the year, causing pipe inventory levels to drop to an all time low. With record low inventories, concrete pipe deliveries were unfortunately- but necessarily- scheduled out further than ever anticipated.

CP&P’s Mid-Atlantic Region is responding by implementing several strategies to strengthen our ability to serve our partners in the Mid-Atlantic Region. These include:

  • Four additional pipe form sets for the Hanover Pipe Plant, placed on order September2021
    • 18” quad form to add horsepower to this high demand size
    • 24” triple form to replace the 24” double form and to add 1 extra piece per machine cycle
    • 30” double form to add horsepower to this high demand size
    • 36” double form that can be run on Hanover and Jessup larger pipe machines while the existing 36” singles continue to run on the smaller machines
  • Extended, split shift hours and Saturday production at Jessup & Chesapeake Pipe Plants, implemented Q4 2021
  • Double shift at Hanover Pipe Plant, implemented in January 2022

Additionally, a new Packerhead pipe machine has been ordered for the Chesapeake Pipe Plant and is expected to be in operation by July 2022. This new 36” Packerhead Pipe machine is capable of producing 400 pieces of 15”, 18” or 24” RCP per day, one size at a time. The installation should be “fast track” with the existing plant infrastructure (building, batch plant, machine pit, curing kiln) already in place. The addition of the new 36” Packerhead Pipe machine will add much needed capacity for small diameter pipe and will couple well with the existing automated Hawkeye Pipe machine, capable of producing all sizes of round and elliptical pipe, providing an optimal overall output capability at the facility.

Although the increase in demand was unexpected, CP&P is stepping up to the challenge with an action plan that ultimately will provide an additional 40% pipe production capacity over 2021 levels.