Excitement is growing among Ultimate Linings employees with the construction of the polyurea manufacturing plant nearing completion in the Nashville area. When complete by the first quarter of 2023, the plant will solidify IXS Coatings as the industry leader in protective coatings. The plant is operated by IXS Coatings, the parent company of Ultimate Linings and our sister company LINE-X.
Ultimate Linings announced the transfer of its business from Texas to Lebanon, Tennessee, in April of this year. The new facility, located in a logistics hub less than 27 miles from the Nashville International Airport, is nearing completion and will house the company’s advanced automated chemical manufacturing, its R&D laboratory, warehousing and logistics, its product research center called the Innovation Center, corporate offices, and a training center.
According to Karl Lehtola, the Operations Manager for the plant, construction is on schedule, “We are eight weeks away from starting production in our state-of-the-art resin blending system.”
Karl is anticipating what the new plant capabilities will mean to Ultimate Lining’s customers. “We are looking forward to much more control of the supply chain in our manufacturing process, which will help our customers get the polyurea product they want, when they want it.”
Located in the same building as the polyurea manufacturing plant is a new polyurea chemical testing lab, along with a new product development area, to be known as the Innovation Center.
Asked about the progress of the R&D lab, Terry Pe, Executive Vice President, Product Development for Ultimate Linings said: ”Setup of our new 6,000 square feet R&D Innovation lab is right on schedule. This is where we will be developing up-and-coming chemistries for all facets of the industry. We are growing our team of chemists with three additional chemists starting this week.”
Terry Pe, Executive Vice President, Product Development, and Karl Lehtola, Operations Manager for IXS Coatings and Ultimate Linings, are standing in front of a mixer at the new plant.
Terry was asked what this new lab will mean to Ultimate Linings customers. “Innovation is key to our success and our customer base will benefit tremendously from our capabilities. Because we are ISO 17025 accredited and we can submit test reports direct to engineers from our lab, that alone greatly speeds up the commercialization process by months,” said Terry.
Both Terry and Karl were asked what excites them about the new facility.
Karl quickly stated, “When I started in February this place was just four walls and a ceiling. I’m excited about being able to build this chemical manufacturing facility from the ground up and working with a great team every day. I really appreciate the teamwork from all vendors and my fellow employees – over 100 people have been involved in the construction of this facility and all the systems that will support it. This is the most fun I’ve had in years.”
Terry added, “As a chemist, innovation is near and dear to my heart. I cut my teeth with this company starting 15 years ago in the research lab. To see where we are today, to add vertical integration into our process, along with continued innovation, is truly amazing.”
The new facility, located in Lebanon, Tennessee outside of Nashville is scheduled to in be fully operational on January 3rd, 2023.
Terry Pe started in the industry as a Product Development Chemist 15 years ago. He steadily progressed in responsibility to his current position, Executive Vice President, Product Development at IXS Coatings. He currently serves as the president of the Polyurea Development Association (PDA). A long-time active member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI). Also, Terry has been a long-time active member of both SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, which merged two years ago to become the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP).
Karl Lehtola is the Operations Manager for IXS Coatings and Ultimate Linings. He has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, with roles in engineering and plant operations management in the paint and chemicals industry, primarily at Sherwin-Williams and RPM. He has been with Ultimate Linings since February 2022.