Don’t tell Matt Cain, president and CEO of Eaton Compressor & Fabrication Inc., that small manufacturers can’t compete in the global marketplace. His 25-employee company just moved into a new 60,000-square-foot assembly plant in Clayton, OH, and it ships compressors all over the world, including Canada, Mexico, Russia, Argentina and Vietnam.
“It’s taken years of hard work and planning,” says Cain. “We just try to beat our competition. We build a very good product and stand behind it.”
Eaton assembles rotary-screw and piston air compressors for home, commercial and industrial use in sizes ranging from 5 to 200 hp. The company produces some 500 different models, all of which are built to customer specifications-right down to the paint color.
The company provides a 10-year warranty on rotary-screw compressors and a five-year warranty on its piston-driven units. “We don’t use cheap materials,” says Cain. “Everything is heavy-duty.”
Cain’s father, Marvin, started the company 33 years ago as a business for refurbishing old compressors. However, it wasn’t long before the company started making its own machines. By 2007, the company was pulling in more than $6 million in revenue and busting out of its original 17,000-square-foot facility in Eaton, OH.
“Demand for our products increased, and we were out of room,” says Cain.
In 2008, the company began planning for the new facility. When Clayton offered a 15-year tax abatement and free land on which to build the facility, Cain couldn’t refuse.
Located on 7.2 acres of land, the $5 million facility was completed last summer. It includes office space; a 10,000-square-foot showroom; fabrication, assembly and finishing lines; and 33,000 square feet of warehousing space. “We designed our building around our operation so everything would flow through much better from inbound to outbound,” says Cain.
The facility is equipped with MIG and TIG welders, plasma cutters, and metal forming machines. Measuring 20 feet by 16 feet, the paint booth includes a computer-controlled mixing station that can produce 300 colors.
A three-phase electrical test system enables the company to test compressors built for any country. “We can go 575 volt, 480 volt, 230 volt, 208 volt, 50 and 60 hertz,” says Cain.
The facility even has a 300-kilowatt electrical generator that can power the entire plant in the event of a power outage. “If the power went out, we could keep going 24/7 for a week,” says Cain.
The company’s goal is to produce 20,000 units annually and reach $20 million in sales by 2018. In addition, Cain wants to start making his own air storage tanks within the next two years-a project that might add another 25 jobs to Eaton’s payroll. “I can see right now we’re going to be out of room again,” he predicts. “We’re probably going to have to add another 40,000 to 50,000 square feet.”
Editor’s note: “Moving Forward” is a regular series profiling new or expanding assembly plants. If you know a facility that’s opening, growing or investing in new equipment, we’d like to hear about it. Send an e-mail to John Sprovieri, editor of ASSEMBLY, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 630-694-4012.