SOUTH SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Wipaire is expanding its manufacturing facilities.
In a purchase deal closed in late February, Wipaire became the sole owner of the 65,000-square-foot building it has leased a portion of since late 2012. Renovations will begin as soon as previous leaseholders move out of their leased spaces.
“International demand is driving our expansion,” said Chuck Wiplinger, president and COO. “As we look to meet that demand and structure our manufacturing for efficiency, we are continuing to invest in our home area. This facility provides us with the ability to streamline aluminum float manufacturing while allowing for future composites manufacturing.”
Tim Hendrickson, executive vice president of operations, added “As a tenant of this facility for over three years, we have outgrown our existing space and we see room for improvement in the way we work and build floats and our other modifications. This purchase expands our manufacturing footprint by 78% and consolidates all manufacturing operations under one roof. We’re excited to get underway with renovations and expect to start in on these in a few months.”
Facility upgrades will take place over a 12-month phased plan to avoid impact on current and planned production.
In addition to improved manufacturing flow, the renovations will include expansion of inventory presence for manufacturing and customer support, company officials noted.
For more than 55 years, Wipaire has been engineering and manufacturing a full line of aircraft floats for all sizes of aircraft from the Piper Cub to the Viking Twin Otter, including most single engine Cessna aircraft.
In addition, Wipaire has engineered more than 100 Supplemental Type Certificated modifications for improved performance, convenience, and reliability.
Wipaire also offers maintenance, avionics installation and repair, custom interior design and installation, and exterior paint refinishing across locations in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Leesburg, Florida.