A worldwide leader in HDPE connections finds a home in San Antonio

Improved Piping Products, Inc. (IPP) was founded in 1979 by Gunter and Susan Schlicht in Orinda, California. As a mechanical engineer, Gunter Schlicht recognized the benefits of the convoluted flange as a lighter weight, easier to handle product than the standard flange. He also saw it as an opportunity to improve the performance and economic feasibility of flange connections in the thermoplastic piping industry.

After nearly two decades in production of metallic products for the thermoplastic industry, the company launched its first HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) fittings in the late nineties.

Manufacturing originally occurred in China with warehouses in California, Texas, Missouri and Florida. When the company decided to consolidate operations, Texas was a perfect location due to the central location, having main interstate access and was also closer to product material sources. After visiting San Antonio, Houston and Austin, San Antonio was the clear choice for manufacturing and growth.

In 2008, IPP opened a 45,000 square foot HDPE production facility on Director Drive. In August of 2010, IPP expanded its presence in San Antonio with the acquisition of a 55,000 square foot warehouse on Space Center Drive.

After acquiring a large enough facility to expand operations, the decision was made to shut down production in China and bring all manufacturing to San Antonio. In 2013 the warehouse was moved to a 100,000 square foot facility and the Space Center production plant opened in 2014 where the original warehouse was located. In 2016 the Director Drive production plant consolidated with Space Center and is currently the hub of all IPP manufacturing.

Thanks to our team of dedicated employees and a tremendous vote of confidence from our customers, IPP continues to provide high quality, economical, environmentally friendly, highly engineered piping products for the thermoplastic industry after 39 years since inception. Over the years, IPP has expanded its sizes and pressure ratings and now offers a full line of straight-line fittings in all sizes, including our unique, patented Deltaflex® flanges that can be found all over the world in oil and gas, mining, chemical, water service, waste treatment, plant process, engineering, pulp and paper, dredging and geo-thermal industries.

Today, IPP still remains a family business committed to superior quality, service and delivery with Dudley Schlicht – President and Duncan Schlicht – Vice President at the helm in San Antonio. Extensions of IPP can also be found all over the world, with our sourcing team in Shanghai, our IPPI international team based in the UK, and additional partners in Latin America.

Since joining SAMA in 2012, IPP has enjoyed the benefits that membership provides as our business needs increase and evolve, especially being fairly new to San Antonio. With the help of the SAMA network, IPP has built a strong and diverse workforce to fill staffing requirements for corporate and manufacturing personnel.

IPP has relied on SAMA’s resources on numerous occasions, finding invaluable support for our operations. “SAMA has been instrumental in helping Improved Piping Products find key personnel for our organization.”- Duncan Schlicht

As we move into 2018, IPP looks forward to maintaining our relationship with SAMA and in the San Antonio marketplace. Through this continued partnership, we are optimistic to continue our growth this year and in the future.

Dawn Cunningham, Human Resources, Improved Piping Products