Laconia firm Titeflex Aerospace to expand and hireBy DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent
June 15. 2015 8:36PM
LACONIA — A company that does more than $80 million in sales of hoses and hose systems for the aerospace industry is adding a lot more space to its plant, and hopes to hire more employees to fill the new space in coming months.
Titeflex Aerospace’s 76,000-square-foot plant at 93 Lexington Drive will be enlarged by more than 47,000 square feet by the first quarter of next year, according to Martin Hough, the company’s financial officer.
The company is the Lakes Region’s second-largest manufacturing employer with more than 350 employees on site, Hough said, and is advertising now on its website, www.titeflex.com/aerospace, for 10 positions, and more will be hired in the coming months to fit its expansion.
“The aerospace industry has seen an upturn in the past three or four years, and our business has grown with it,” Hough said. “The market keeps growing.”
Hough said the commercial branch of aviation has grown on the national level, and companies like Boeing, General Electric, Pratt and Whitney, and Rolls Royce have been ordering more and more hoses and hose equipment for their airplanes and other aviation projects.
“We make the equipment needed for fuel to be distributed throughout an airplane,” said Hough, who said the company also has a plant in Springfield, Mass.
The expansion will consolidate all original equipment manufacturing production activity onto one site and provide much needed space for expansion and improvements to process flows.
Groundbreaking for the site expansion will begin this month.
The site expansion and resulting process reconfiguration of the facility will allow Titeflex to expand capacity to support its position on the many growth platforms on which it has won content over the last few years from large and small buyers.
“The (expansion) project gives us a unique opportunity to build improved process flows into our operations and provide a solid foundation for the future growth of the business,” said General Manager Graham Thomson.
Once the new space is built, manufacturing equipment will be moved to the new space, and new equipment will be purchased to expand manufacturing to fit current demand for Titeflex products, Hough said.
“We’re kind of ’shoehorned’ in where we are. There really isn’t enough space to meet our needs,” he said.
Titeflex and Smiths Group, its parent company, and Titeflex are concerned about reducing the environmental impact of the Laconia plant while increasing renewable energy resources, Hough said. The new manufacturing space will allow for a reduction in energy and waste, with the intention to cut water discharge to zero over time through a water recycling process.
Other green initiatives at Titeflex include high-efficiency lighting and utilization of natural light with more exterior windows, and a new parking lot, which will feature a surface with porous pavement over aggregate layering to filter water runoff and to reduce the risk of flooding in the surrounding area.
Brandee Loughlin, Laconia’s assistant planner, said the city approves of the expansion.
“We are very excited about it. It’s a growing business in the city,” Loughlin said. “From our point of view, the growth (at Titeflex) is fantastic.”