AstroTurf merges manufacturing to one site in Dalton, Ga.

AstroTurf merges manufacturing to one site in Dalton, Ga.

Sales up 40 percent so far in 2017 over prior year

June 20th, 2017 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Contributed photo / AstroTurf employees work at the company's Dalton, Ga., facility. The business is consolidating manufacturing in one site.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

AstroTurf Corp., the Dalton, Ga., maker of athletic playing surfaces, is merging all its manufacturing under one roof as it moves to meet rising demand for its products.

The company, bought last year by Germany-based SportGroup Holdings after AstroTurf LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has seen sales jump by 40 percent so far in 2017 and it's undertaking a multimillion- dollar investment in equipment, officials said.

AstroTurf Chief Executive Heard Smith said all the operations to produce synthetic turf are shifting to one 400,000-square-foot building on Callahan Road in Dalton.

"We're going to significantly reduce transportation costs and waste while improving the quality and efficiency of our manufacturing processes," he said in a statement.

Fast fact

The consolidated AstroTurf production facility is equal in size to about seven football fields, according to the company.

AstroTurf Marketing Director Sydney Stahlbaum said the company is shifting from three separate locations to the one building it's leasing to house manufacturing. The company's headquarters will remain on Abutment Road, but operations management, human resources, information technology and research and development will have offices in the new facility.

"With this type of investment, we have a long-term intention to be there," Stahlbaum said. "We have state-of-the-art equipment."

The new facility will enable the company to control every step of its production process and make turf quicker, she said.

By the beginning of July, the company will employ more than 400 people in the manufacturing, sales, and installation of North American sports fields, the marketing director said.

"Investing in the new manufacturing facilities was critical to keep up with the rapid growth of both AstroTurf for athletic fields and SYNLawn for landscape use," she said.

AstroTurf North American revenues are in excess of $300 million, Stahlbaum said. Sales are higher due to its relationship with SportGroup Holding and organic growth, she said.

Looking ahead, Stahlbaum said, the company is expecting rapid growth domestically and abroad, with plans to expand operations to Europe, India and Asia.

Stahlbaum said one of the facilities it's leaving has housed AstroTurf operations since 1968.

"There's a lot of history in that building," she said. "We're excited about the future and growth but sad to move out of that building."

AstroTurf LLC filed for bankruptcy reorganization last year after a court granted a $30 million judgment against the company stemming from a patent infringement lawsuit brought by rival FieldTurf USA.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.


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