Tige expands to new plant, headquarters

ABILENE, Texas – Tigé Boats, Inc., has begun production at its new 135,000 square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Abilene, Texas, the company reported in a release today.

Located on 40 acres adjacent to the Abilene Regional Airport, Tigé’s complex is aimed at dramatically increasing efficiency and product quality. It includes a 105,000 square-foot manufacturing plant, a 12,000 square-foot corporate office complex and an adjoining 18,000 square-foot product development and engineering facility. The new manufacturing facility triples the production capacity of the rapidly growing inboard company.

The opening of the new headquarters followed more than three years of planning and development. Tigé CEO Charlie Pigeon said the facility will allow the company to incorporate a number of design elements and innovations that will immediately boost product quality and production efficiency.

“We started with bare ground and decades of combined engineering and boat-building experience,” Pigeon said. “We were able to design every aspect of our new plant around the specific process of building a Tigé. The result has already exceeded our expectations.”

From the climate-controlled, multi-boat gel-coat spray booth on one end to the “clean-room” environment of the final detail department, the new production line embodies streamlined efficiency and state-of-the-art boatbuilding, according to Tigé.

All molds are stored inside, protected from the elements. Advanced ventilation systems change the air 20 times each hour, assuring a clean work environment and enhancing worker safety and comfort. The linear layout of the production line moves boats in a straight line from beginning to end. The parts warehouse and upholstery fabrication area are located relative to the production sequence eliminating excessive transport of materials and components.

“The linear production flow and clean working environment are key to maintaining high, consistent quality,” said Tom Austin, Tigé vice president of Manufacturing. “We designed and built this plant with two primary goals in mind…increasing our capacity and making our high-quality product even better through intelligent organization of the production process.”

The new product development facility features an engineering suite overlooking a fully equipped fabrication workshop for full-scale tooling of boats and components. The facility will allow Tigé engineers to design and produce advanced prototypes and fully develop technological innovations in-house.

“This new R&D facility will allow us to continue to develop cutting-edge products,” Pigeon said, “and respond quickly with new designs and innovations to keep our boats at the forefront of the industry.”

Tigé sales, marketing and administrative departments are housed in the office complex.

Tigé said its continued cooperation with the City of Abilene allowed it to build the new headquarters complex while remaining virtually debt free.

“We currently have approximately 180 employees,” Pigeon said. “By 2010, Tigé plans to increase boat production by over 200 percent and raise employee numbers by 70 percent.

The first boats completed at the new plant were delivered Jan. 6, four days after production resumed.

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