Kevin Iddings and the company he works for have something in common: They like to stay busy — very busy.
It's a good thing, too. Iddings manages High Concrete Group's local manufacturing plant, and you might say they're both backlogged until June and beyond.
Just the way Iddings likes it.
Sure, there's recession going on. But High Concrete's 95 Mound Park Drive facility has found a place in its share of notable local projects: Producing concrete panels and spandrels for Miami Valley Hospital's new Heart Tower, the Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a new Marine Corps building, also at the base — not to mention architectural precast panels for the Stewart Street bridge.
"We're weathering it fairly well," Iddings said of the economy.
One reason: Though the company typically works commercial projects, you'll notice a healthy dose of institutional work in that local list: city government, a hospital and an Air Force base. As well, High Concrete has served universities when and where it can.
High Concrete, an affiliate of closely held High Industries Inc., acquired the Springboro concrete plant from CTI Technology Inc. in 1989. Today, the facility has three buildings and work and storage yards spread across 30 acres.
The High group of companies liked the Springboro site for its proximity both to Midwest and eastern projects. But Dave Nicholas, a company spokesman, said the company lately has served markets beyond its typical area, including Baltimore, Virginia and upstate New York.
The company's specialty: "CarbonCast technology" that Nicholas said increases thermal efficiency to improve occupant comfort, uses less materials, weighs less and is more "sustainable."
A typical backlog for the local plant is five to six months, and the facility entered 2009 with a six-month backlog. While no company can simply shrug off this economy, Iddings compares his facility's position to another High Concrete plant in Paxton, Ill., where there is no backlog at the moment.
The reason for Springboro's success? "It's the quality of our work and the service we provide," Iddings said.
Nicholas calls it "applying customization to automation." Visit the plant, and you'll see workers making sure individual panels have the right texture, tint and appearance.
Said Nicholas, "We're building things in an assembly line, but everything is custom."