Article by Casey Smith from the Tulsa World
Champagne Metals is without question the fastest-growing aluminum service center and processor in the country, President and CEO Michael Champagne said.
In June, the Glenpool, Okla.-based company will celebrate the 80,000-square-foot expansion of its facility in Middlebury, Indiana, located just east of South Bend, as well as introduce the piece of equipment that sets it apart from competitors in a major way — a machine with the ability to cut aluminum up to 111 inches wide.
Company officials call it “The 111.”
“We name our machines by how wide they can cut,” Champagne said. “So we made ‘The 100’ wide and that was one of the biggest machines ever built for aluminum we built that in the last seven years here in Tulsa, and that put us on the map. We just built ‘The 111,’ and ‘The 111’ is probably the biggest machine ever built in the world to process aluminum.”
Champagne takes big coils of aluminum and makes sheets that the company’s customers then use to manufacture products that include tankers used by the oil and gas industry, trucks used for grain or cattle, dry vans like the ones used by FedEX and UPS and pontoon boats. Champagne’s niche is in cutting and processing sheets 72 inches wide and larger.
“If someone gets a box or a letter, or if someone eats bread or meat, or if they drive their car, it’s actually a company in Oklahoma — in Glenpool — that has supplied that,” Champagne said. “It even kind of surprises my wife and I.”