SPOKANE -- OXARC Inc. is expanding in Pasco.
The Spokane-based company is building a new distribution center at its current location on South Oregon Avenue near A Street.
The center will help the company -- which sells welding and industrial supplies including fire safety equipment, medical and specialty gases and personal protective gear -- save money in the long run, said Randy McBride, branch and operations manager at Pasco.
The new nearly 30,000-square-foot facility, which will cost a little over $1 million, is expected to be completed by year's end.
It will help free up space in the existing 8,000-square-foot warehouse and help OXARC to expand and modernize its packaged gas operations at Pasco, McBride said, adding the company plans to install automatic gas filling equipment.
That means the fill time for gas cylinders will by cut by 30 percent and the company will be able to serve its customers better, he said.
Automated equipment is efficient, user-friendly and more dependable, and will help the company eventually reduce costs.
OXARC already has started a dry ice production unit in Pasco, McBride said. It offers various kinds of dry ice for temperature control and for high pressure blasting, he said.
The family-owned company, which started in 1968 and operates in Eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho, has been investing to upgrade various facilities, McBride said.
About a year ago, the company started palletized distribution of packaged gases to replace manual loading at Pasco, he said.
Over the years, OXARC has put in close to a $1 million to upgrade equipment at the Pasco branch, which has 62 employees, he said.
The company's investing in capital improvements because it weathered the recession better than others, McBride said. It's about promoting workplace safety and cutting down worker turnover, he said.
* Pratik Joshi: 509-582-1541; email@example.com; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com