High-tech manufacturer Airmar expands in MilfordBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
May 12. 2014 6:01PM
MILFORD — High-tech manufacturer Airmar held a grand opening of its new, 72,000-square-foot facility on Meadowbrook Drive on Monday morning, celebrating a new home for its 200 employees and its continued status as a major New Hampshire exporter.
“This new state-of-the-art production facility will support recent and future growth, growing 20 to 25 percent due to the expansion this building makes possible,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said. “Airmar is going to continue to be a leader in innovative sensor technology.”
Hassan, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., attended the ribbon cutting, which was a celebration of Granite State innovation, manufacturing and its number one status as the country’s fastest growing exporter of manufactured goods, which Hassan acknowledged during her remarks.
Airmar founder and CEO Stephen Boucher said in 2014 more than 50 percent of Airmar’s production is expected to be exported. He said he remains committed to keeping the company’s manufacturing in New Hampshire. The new facility doubles its production capacity.
“About six or seven years ago our largest customer at the time really pushed us hard over a few years, two years, to set up a manufacturing facility in China, and we said no,” Boucher said. “We decided to stay here and commit to manufacturing here in New Hampshire. We feel that we can offer high quality and rapid delivery and be cost effective here in New Hampshire, and I think this has been borne out.”
Airmar was founded 25 years ago and has grown into a world-recognized leader in marine-sensing technology, including the development of sensor technology used for a wide variety of applications such as fishing, navigation and meteorology.
Airmar currently employs more than 200 in New Hampshire and added 50 workers in Milford while the project was underway, said Matt Boucher, president and son of the company’s founder.
“This project was actually started in 2007, but was put on hold indefinitely in 2008 because of the recession,” Matt Boucher said. “We actually resurrected the plan in 2012 because Airmar’s growth was so great that we became constrained in terms of our production space. We couldn’t take on new customers and new projects that we wanted to.”