By the staff of Business Facilities
From the May/June 2015 issue
High Liner Foods Inc., a producer and supplier of value-added frozen seafood, recently opened its newly constructed U.S. headquarters, a 38,000-square-foot facility at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH, just two miles from one of its manufacturing sites.
High Liner Foods, based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, moved its U.S. headquarters from Danvers, MA.
The new building at the Pease International Tradeport features advanced communications technology, a culinary innovation and research and development facility, and an open workspace environment for employee collaboration. It is located within walking distance of the company’s Portsmouth manufacturing facility and has ample space for future expansion, the company said in a release.
“The opening of this new facility is an important milestone for High Liner Foods,” Keith Decker, president and chief operating officer said.
With the new U.S. HQ comes an updated corporate brand and website, which includes a new modernize logo, aiming to reflect the company’s “belief that seafood should High Liner Foods should be viewed by consumers as a contemporary and culinary-inspired meal choice.”
“The company has grown significantly over the last several years, particularly in the U.S., and the relocation and design of the new building will help us serve our customers better and attract and retain the top talent required for continued growth into the future,” Decker said. “With a design that reflects our updated branding, we believe the new building will inspire employees to continue fulfilling our recently formalized mission: to radically simplify selecting, preparing and enjoying seafood at its best.”
NH MEP SURVEY SITES NEEDS OF MANUFACTURING COMPANIES
In a first-of-its kind survey looking into the capabilities and challenges of the Granite State manufacturing community, New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP) recently received comprehensive feedback from 88 decision makers at small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies throughout the state.
The resulting data, which was collected in the fall of 2014, reflects information from the previous year and provides an unprecedented look into the exact factors either helping to accelerate growth or acting as barriers to progress. Those elements range from lack of capital and access to funding to hiring, training and retention of a skilled workforce. Technology also plays an integral role.
The data generated from this survey directly links recent financial success to companies that have implemented new technologies and expanded their product offerings and capabilities. Likewise, those businesses that have failed to identify the proper advancements have, in large part, struggled to keep up with the competition and are experiencing pitfalls in revenue.
Of the 88 organizations that responded to the survey, 68 percent have been in business more than 20 years, and only 15 percent have been operational less than 10 years.
The largest percentage of respondents, 74 percent came from decision-makers at companies employing 5-100 workers, a direct reflection of the state’s manufacturing base. In fact, 2011 data from Tower Publishing indicates nearly 90 percent of all Granite State manufacturers fall into that same range.
In terms of revenue, 30 percent of the responding companies generated $1-5 million annually; 22 percent reported $10-20 million in the last year; and 22 percent reported revenues in excess of $20 million.
Of those who responded to the survey:
- 10 percent reported rapid (10 percent+) growth
- 31% indicated moderate (5-10 percent) growth
- 21% communicated modest (0-5 percent) growth
- 22 percent noted they’ve remained flat over the past year
- 16 percent have experienced negative revenue growth
- 99 percent said they’d like to grow
According to those who took the survey, the top reasons for decline are an unstable economy, ever-tightening government regulations and a decrease in customer demand. As a whole, 62 percent of respondents reported growth of some level, and only 16 percent noted a negative revenue trend in the last year, however there is no one specific criteria for growth or decline among New Hampshire’s manufacturers.
The majority of respondents who reported recent success credited a renewed focus on improved, specialty and niche products, and a rebounding market. More specifically, they identified “good products and on-time delivery,” “holding down costs and a diversified customer base,” and “the demand for special technology.”
AEC AND RICARDO TEAM UP
Automakers are incorporating a variety of new and advanced materials to reduce the weight of vehicle structures and components as they work to reduce carbon emissions and improve passenger safety.
Aerospace composite supplier Albany Engineered Composites (AEC), Rochester, NH and automotive engineering and consulting company Ricardo recently announced they have entered into a collaborative partnership to provide composite body, chassis and other structural components to the automotive industry.
Albany Engineered Composites has demonstrated expertise in the state-of-the-art design and manufacturing of composite parts noted for their impact and damage tolerance in the aerospace market. As a world leader in passenger car and commercial vehicle design with car manufacturers and their suppliers, Ricardo will collaborate with AEC to grow the use of proven advanced aerospace composites within the global automotive industry.
“We’re excited to leverage our experience with 3D and other advanced composite technologies in the automotive industry. The ability to lightweight with durability has been a technology enabler for our aerospace customers, and we believe our partnership with Ricardo can deliver the same technology advances to automotive customers,” says Brian Coffenberry, Vice President of business Development for Research & Technology at AEC.
Under the terms the agreement, Ricardo and Albany Engineered Composites will jointly explore the use of AEC technologies like 3D composites for providing the stiffness, strength, durability and energy absorption necessary to lightweight applications such as crash structures. Often these structures are made of metal and are difficult to replace with a lighter weight materials while maintaining performance requirements. The synergies available from the AEC-Ricardo collaboration will be particularly attractive to automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers that want to reduce body and chassis mass, while also maintaining vehicle structural and safety performance.