Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. is planning to expand its Milford plant and add up to 40 new workers.
The company, which manufactures fuel-efficient and high-performance automotive components and other technology solutions for investment castings, is in the process of seeking approval for two building additions at 594 Elm St.
“This is one large addition and then a secondary, smaller addition on the opposite side of the facility,” said Tim Sullivan, vice-president of corporate affairs and services at Hitchiner Manufacturing. The first addition will be about 25,000 square feet, and the second addition is about 6,000 square feet, according to Sullivan.
“Our backend operation does need a facelift, but it is difficult to do that while still running production,” said Sullivan, explaining the larger addition will enable some operations to transfer over so that upgrades can be made to the existing site.
The addition will accommodate new product lines and new contracts, although Sullivan said he could not disclose specifics.
“There is some new development work that will be going on in that addition, but I am not at liberty to describe it in any detail,” he said. If that development is successful, however, he said a new product line could potentially bring in an additional 200 workers and prompt the need for an additional stand-alone building.
For now, however, Hitchiner is looking to hire about 30 to 40 new employees for the two new additions, which includes a mix of some office space and mostly manufacturing space for electrical service and mechanical work.
Hitchiner has about 637 employees throughout the nation, with 338 of those workers housed within the complex that will be expanded along Elm Street.
Sullivan described this new initiative as a major milestone for the metal casting company, adding he is thrilled about the company’s growth.
“We are currently hiring as it is. We probably have 25 to 30 openings today,” he said. “Our sales are increasing this year.”
He is hopeful that the shell of the largest addition will be completed by August, although the company must still receive approval from the local planning board.
It is an aggressive construction plan, but Sullivan said it will provide the business with critical space to allow a makeover at its current post-casting area.
“We are still looking at the logistics of construction,” Dennis Myers, project architect, told the planning board during a recent review of the expansion.
The additions will enable the company to expand its manufacturing area and provide extra loading docks, a high bay for equipment, a mechanical room and new lunchroom, lockers and support services area for staff, said Myers.
“It is an exciting opportunity for Hitchiner,” added Earle Blatchford of Hayner Swanson Inc., of Nashua, the engineering firm for the project.
Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1946, and has operated from the Milford plant since 1951. With a goal of reducing, reusing and recycling throughout its manufacturing and engineering process, Hitchiner supports the automotive, aerospace and defense markets by working with companies such as BMW, Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen, according to its website.