Last year was the second-best year in the history of Hytrol, and we believe that 2019 will be our best ever. We are prepared for workforce growth and updates to our production facility in 2019 to accommodate rising demands. It is an exciting time for the material handling industry, and we continue to position ourselves as an industry leader.
The big news for the Northeast Arkansas region is that we are beginning 2019 by hiring 140 new employees for our production facility. These new additions to the Hytrol Family are slated to begin work during the first two months of the year. We will be able to develop these employees in anticipation for growing product demand well before our peak time arrives. The Hytrol Family will approach 1,400 members with the addition of the new employees.
Production Facility Updates
We are making significant upgrades to our production facility. These renovations and changes to our manufacturing flow will not only increase efficiency and production but will also create a safer work environment for everyone in our operation.
We are incorporating more automated equipment into our production process. The installation will serve a three-fold purpose: increase employee safety, increase production efficiency, and help with manufacturing flow. Early in the year, our Green and Orange Cell Fabrication will have this new equipment installed. We will complete this process with our Blue and Purple Cells in the second half of the year.
Brown Cell will receive two upgraded lasers to help us keep pace with customer demand.
New Product Development
The Hytrol Research and Development team will enjoy its first year in our reimagined Technology Center. The $1.5 million in enhancements and renovations have provided more tools to focus on product and technology development. We have already seen the benefit of this investment with 90 customers visiting the Technology Center in December of 2018.
Integration Partner Network
As we move into 2019, we would not be in this position without our integration partners. This network of material handling experts provides value-added benefits to our customers through their expertise in consultation, design, layout, software, installation, training, and more.
Our mission is “We create material handling technology and relationships that move the world.” It is through our relationships with the integration partners that we are able to deliver innovative solutions to the customer. We look to build on these relationships for success in 2019 and beyond.
We have a promising forecast for 2019. These plans and others will position Hytrol to keep pace with the ever growing and changing material handling industry. It is an industry that impacts so many people and changes the world. Whether it is making a job quicker or easier or delivering customer items faster, a conveyor is there. We look to 2019 with anticipation as a year of growth as we create material handling technology and relationships that move the world.