HBC-radiomatic Inc. declared its new Hebron, Ky. facility officially open at an event that attracted visitors from across the world in September.
The radio remote control manufacturer staged the invitation-only open house at the site where an additional 13,000 sq. ft. of floor-space has been added. More than 200 visitors including guests from as afar afield as India joined the celebrations spanning two days, with staff also hosting their family members to mark the occasion over the weekend.
The delegation included representatives of Germany-headquartered HBC-radiomatic GmbH. Sister companies in Spain, India and Switzerland also helped their U.S.-based counterparts reflect on the evolution of the operation and put a bookend to a dynamic construction period.
Jeff Allan, CEO of HBC-radiomatic Inc., said: "It was important for the U.S. staff to share what they have accomplished, and it was especially nice to see the pride as the team not only welcomed their business guests, but also their families. The sizeable local expansion is a very important step for the U.S. operation and reflects HBC's ongoing investments, over more than 20 years in North America, for domestic, market-focused support. The strong representation from HBC Germany was another indication of this commitment."
He added: "There is no question that HBC-radiomatic has a global reputation for offering an exceptional range of radio control solutions and is respected industry-wide. And while we showcase our products routinely at industry events—trade shows, etc.—and continue to reinforce to our customers HBC's commitment to increasing our local capabilities, it is a challenge to properly demonstrate this culture and our resources without opening our doors. For many customers it was the first time they visited HBC, let alone to visit a freshly expanded and upgraded HBC USA. Needless to say, the feedback we received was extremely positive with most guests not being previously aware of scale of our domestic activities."
Practically, the expansion provides the warehousing and operational space to more than double the throughput from each of the company's key departments, and HBC has completed the deployment of several additional service / repair islands and system assembly / production islands. A new product showroom was designed for customers to gain hands-on experience with the manufacturer's extensive product line, and was built and ready for the open house event.
Allan said: "Giving our customers first-hand access to HBC-radiomatic product was an essential element of the expansion plans and the new showroom provided our visitors with the chance to experience the functionality of the product, the quality of the range, and the technical possibilities that are not easy to recognize when looking at a product brochure or web page. The showroom sparked a great deal of ideas and discussion about several new applications for radio controls."
The goal of the expansion was singular; to enhance resources to better serve customers. The added space not only provides HBC USA with the capabilities to increase the throughput of the company, but the existing facilities were also reconfigured and optimized as part of the expansion project. As a result, space has been assigned to provide the greatest impact, particularly in terms of operational flows and efficiencies.
The celebration was forward thinking, but presented an opportunity to reflect on the company's journey so far, which began in 1998 when HBC USA commenced operations from a small unit within an industrial complex on the north side of Cincinnati. While the North American headquarters was ultimately started as a support center for key local customers, within a few years the assembly and modification of small handheld transmitters and systems was started to increase the speed of delivery.
A more recent landmark was reached in 2018 when HBC-radiomatic Inc. achieved accreditation to produce systems according to NEC, CEC, ATEX, IECEx and cUL's standards. It has been a decade since HBC started construction of the original Hebron facility, located adjacent to the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). The site was selected due to its expansion potential and, even now, the company has enough land for significant additional growth.
Allan added: "It was a memorable event, marked by interactions between the HBC teams, our customers and business partners, which continued into the post-open house celebrations. We genuinely appreciate those that took the time to visit and see the progression of HBC and discover our vision for the future. As the adoption and use of industrial radio control solutions continues to evolve, HBC-radiomatic is poised to continue its investments in innovative and industry-leading products, and in the internal capabilities to support our markets, where needed by our customers."