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Jul 14, 2023Jul 14, 2023

Elkhart, Ind.-based Nibco Inc., a manufacturer of pipe fittings and valves, will close its Charlestown, Ind., operation following the sale of the facility and its BlazeMaster fire protection product line to Viking Group earlier this year.

A phased closure is planned for Nibco injection molding operations, which employ 97, as Viking takes over the building and the product line.

Some Nibco workers will be able to relocate to other company sites, some are expected to find work with Viking, which will maintain production of fire sprinkler fittings, and some are facing a permanent layoff, according to a May 16 notice filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development in accordance with the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The first round of layoffs is scheduled for July 19 for 39 workers, including 10 machine operators and five in assembly.

"We do not know the date upon which the plant closure will be complete, as we expect to proceed gradually and in phases as Viking develops its own operations," the WARN notice says.

Based in Hastings, Mich.,Viking Group manufactures fire protection products. Viking acquired Nibco's chlorinated PVC products business in Charlestown in January to become more vertically integrated and strengthen its position in the residential fire sprinkler market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed except that Nibco-branded CPVC fittings would continue to be produced at the Charlestown facility through April.

A Viking spokesman told the local newspaper it would retain the 25-30 employees currently producing CPVC fittings. The company also manufactures CPVC products in Huntsville, Ala.

As Viking settles in to Charlestown, Nibco is moving production of its industrial plastics products, which were not acquired, to its other U.S. sites. Nibco has 10 other manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Poland.

Viking has about 50 locations worldwide. The Charlestown facility and product line acquisition completes the company's process of vertically integrating, Viking Group President and CEO James Golinveaux, said in a news release when the deal was announced Jan. 8.

"This move further strengthens Viking's position in the residential sprinkler market. By owning the entire process, from manufacture through delivery, we've enhanced our unique ability to offer customers a true single-source solution for CPVC fire sprinkler systems," Golinveaux said.

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