Great Plains to invest in new equipment, processes

Great Plains Industries is adding new technology to its manufacturing operations that it expects will increase business efficiency and capabilities.

“Innovation is key for GPI and these capital investments create tremendous value for us as a supplier, but more importantly for our distributors and their customers, Vic Lukic, CEO of Great Plains, said in a news release Friday from the company.

In June, the company will begin work on a flexible manufacturing system that comprises machining centers connected to a robotic pallet system. The new system, installation of which is expected to last nine months, will allow Great Plains to manufacture pump housings and components in-house, instead of receiving those parts from a supplier overseas.

Jeff Methe, Great Plains’ operations manager, credited Lukic and leadership and ownership at its holding company, Great Plains Ventures, for investing in the new system and bringing more work to Wichita.

“They have a lot of commitment to the community and just a commitment to manufacturing in Wichita,” he said.

Great Plains’ second project involves setting up a new method of manufacturing composite suction pipe with the addition of a composite injection molding machine. That project is expected to take four months.

Methe said the two projects will lead to “more efficiency and better quality.”

He declined to disclose the cost of the two projects but said it was “a substantial investment.”

The 47-year-old, privately held company at 5252 E. 36th St. manufactures fuel transfer pumps, fuel meters, flowmeters and industrial instrumentation.

It has about 250 employees in Wichita and has a manufacturing and sales operation in Sydney, Australia. It also operates a sales office in Mexico.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.