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Business Flows Steadily for Phoenix Faucets

October 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Assembly line at Phoenix Products Inc.

Phoenix Products Inc. has grown to become one of the nation’s largest producers of bathroom and kitchen faucets for manufactured housing and recreational vehicles, according to The Morning Journal, Lorain Ohio.

“There are millions, literally millions of Phoenix faucets out there,” said Raymond Arth, president and CEO of the Avon Lake, Ohio-based company. “They’re all over the place.”

Water runs in Arth’s family, starting in 1894 when Nicholas Arth, Raymond’s grandfather, and six brothers started a foundry that became the American Brass Manufacturing Co. in Cleveland.

After World War II, Nicholas’ son, Raymond W. Arth, joined with Jerry McKeever in 1956 to launch Streamway Products Inc., which became a lead designer and supplier of faucets for manufactured housing and RV’s.

The elder Raymond Arth worked as a consultant and designer as Arth and his brother, the late Michael J. Arth, started Phoenix Faucets in 1977. “It’s a traditional family business in that respect,” Arth said. “I think there’s a real family attitude about it. We’ve tried to create a good work environment and be respectful of the situations that people have, kids and families and things like that.”

The brothers chose a name from the mythical firebird that rises not from water but from ashes of its burnt nest. “That Phoenix name was really a reference to that regeneration in that Phoenix myth,” Arth said. “We’ve got three generations and three companies in that time.”

Now Phoenix Faucets has a 50,000-square-foot shop that has about 30 full- and part-time workers, with another 10 temporary staffers during peak production times. Workers spin-weld plastic tubes that become the internal pipes of faucets that go in sinks and showers. Then they put the faucet assemblies together and test the handles, valves and pipes with high-pressure water.

The company keeps parts in stock but builds the faucets based on customer orders. Turnaround time runs about two weeks, but Phoenix Faucets sometimes will build and ship fittings in the same day, especially if RV makers risk running out of parts.

The company owns the designs and molds for the plastic and metal components and contracts with shops around northern Ohio and Michigan to supply the pieces assembled in Avon Lake, located just west of Cleveland along Lake Erie on U.S. 6.

“The bulk of it is still stuff we make here with parts from suppliers still in the neighborhood,” said Arth, adding that his primary markets are in North America, although Phoenix has sold faucets to buyers in distant locales like Panama, Columbia, Australia and Guam.

Despite rough economic conditions in recent years, Arth said, business has been steady, especially from RV makers. Phoenix has competition from foreign suppliers and one design was copied so precisely, the imported parts were interchangeable with those made in northern Ohio, Arth said. “The Chinese loved our kitchen spout to the point where it’s been shamelessly copied,” said Arth. “It was a copy; it wasn’t an imitation. They just took it.”

Editor’s Note: This story is being republished in edited form with permission from The Morning Journal, Lorrain, Ohio.

 

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Business Flowing for Supplier Phoenix Products

September 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Phoenix Products Inc. has grown to become one of the single largest producers of bathroom and kitchen faucets for manufactured homes and recreational vehicles, according to the The Morning Journal, Lorain Ohio.

“There are millions, literally millions of Phoenix faucets out there,” said Raymond Arth, president and CEO of the Avon Lake, Ohio-based company. “They’re all over the place.”

Water runs in Arth’s family. The tradition started in 1894 when Nicholas Arth, grandfather of Raymond, and his six brothers started a foundry that became the American Brass Manufacturing Co. in Cleveland. After World War II, Nicholas’ son, Raymond W. Arth, joined with Jerry McKeever in 1956 to start Streamway Products Inc., which became a lead designer and supplier of faucets for manufactured homes and recreational vehicles.

The elder Raymond Arth worked as consultant and designer as Arth and his brother, the late Michael J. Arth, started Phoenix Faucets in 1977.

“It’s a traditional family business in that respect,” Arth said. “I think there’s a real family attitude about it. We’ve tried to create a good work environment and be respectful of the situations that people have, kids and families and things like that.”

The brothers chose a name from the mythical firebird that rises not from water but from ashes of its burnt nest.

“That Phoenix name was really a reference to that regeneration in that Phoenix myth,” Arth said. “We’ve got three generations and three companies in that time.”

Now Phoenix Faucets has a 50,000-square-foot shop that has about 30 full- and part-time workers, with another 10 temporary staffers during peak production times.

Workers spin-weld plastic tubes that become the internal pipes of faucets that go in kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks and showers. Then they put the faucet assemblies together and test the handles, valves and pipes with high-pressure water.

According to The Morning Journal, the company keeps parts in stock but builds the faucets based on customer orders. Turnaround time runs about two weeks but Phoenix Faucets sometimes will build and ship fittings in the same day, especially if RV makers risk running out of parts, Arth said.

The company owns the designs and molds for the plastic and metal components, and contracts with shops around northern Ohio and Michigan to supply the pieces assembled in Avon Lake.

“The bulk of it is still stuff we make here with parts from suppliers still in the neighborhood,” Arth said.

The United States and Canada are primary markets to sell faucets, but Phoenix also has sold faucets in Panama, Columbia, Australia and Guam.

Despite rough economic conditions in recent years, business has been steady, especially for recreational vehicle makers, Arth said.

Phoenix Faucets has competition from foreign suppliers and one design was copied so precisely, the imported parts were interchangeable with those made in northern Ohio, Arth said.

“The Chinese loved our kitchen spout to the point where it’s been shamelessly copied,” Arth said. “It was a copy, it wasn’t an imitation. They just took it.”

To read the entire story click here.

http://morningjournal.com/articles/2011/09/25/news/mj5064965.txt

The company keeps parts in stock but builds the faucets based on customer orders. Turnaround time runs about two weeks but Phoenix Faucets sometimes will build and ship fittings in the same day, especially if RV makers risk running out of parts, Arth said.

The company owns the designs and molds for the plastic and metal components, and contracts with shops around northern Ohio and Michigan to supply the pieces assembled in Avon Lake.

“The bulk of it is still stuff we make here with parts from suppliers still in the neighborhood,” Arth said.

 

The United States and Canada are primary markets to sell faucets, but Phoenix also has sold faucets in Panama, Columbia, Australia and Guam.

 

Despite rough economic conditions in recent years, business has been steady, especially for recreational vehicle makers, Arth said.

 

Phoenix Faucets has competition from foreign suppliers and one design was copied so precisely, the imported parts were interchangeable with those made in northern Ohio, Arth said.

 

“The Chinese loved our kitchen spout to the point where it’s been shamelessly copied,” Arth said. “It was a copy, it wasn’t an imitation. They just took it.”

To read the entire story click here.

http://morningjournal.com/articles/2011/09/25/news/mj5064965.txt

 

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