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Hose Technology Centre gets upgrade

23 November 2023

ERIKS HOSE Technology (EHT) has completed an eight-week, £35,000 upgrade of its Northampton facility that not only increases its pallet storage capacity by 40% but also enhances its technical capability and safety performance. The Technology Centre is also recruiting to fulfill new business demand, enabled by the upgrade.

The reconfiguration, within the original footprint of the building, has created more space for racking and therefore, EHT is in a far better position to support its expanding customer base. EHT now holds more stock to support its direct and large strategic customers who typically have demands for same-day or next-day delivery for custom-flexible hose assemblies.

"The reconfiguration has improved our ability to scale and grow the business by making more effective use of the space, the amount of product we can hold and the number of customers we can service. We can also purchase on a greater scale and therefore achieve superior economies of scale," said Guy Boomer, director of EHT.

As well as adding additional storage space, the reorganisation has also impacted on the production area, almost doubling the industrial hose capacity and expanding the technical capability of the technology centre through the addition of a PTFE hose production line. "We can now manufacture just about any flexible hose assembly imaginable. Our capabilities have evolved from just metallic and hydraulic hoses, and now include a comprehensive industrial hose solution," Boomer added.

Phase 2 of the development, planned for 2024, will see further enhancements to our technical capabilities and product offering, which will include offices, meeting rooms, a viewing area for customers, two batch production lines and a semi-clean room environment.”

As a result of the increased capacity, EHT is looking to recruit more staff. "Firstly, we need to recruit more welders and assemblers to join our existing team and we will also be looking to recruit another hose tester and Applications Engineer," stated Boomer. "We also have our first ever engineering apprentice joining us this year and she’s going to get experience of all aspects of the business when she joins. We recruited her at our first engineering apprentice open day, plus we were fortunate enough to identify another outstanding candidate who subsequently joined the team as a hose tester."

One of the original motivations for the reorganisation was to improve health and safety and to separate people from machines or more specifically people from forklifts. The reorganisation means that EHT now has a distinct warehousing section and a distinct production section whereas previously they were intermixed. This meant that previously forklifts and people were in close proximity and there was lots of crossing traffic. The new layout removes these potential problem areas and results in a faster, slicker operation. 

As well as working with many quality hose manufacturers ERIKS also has three 'own' brands - FLEXION, LMC, and Goodall. FLEXION is a hydraulic hose and accessories range that covers 80-90% of applications, while the Goodall range has industrial hoses for different applications - steam, hygienic, radiator, suction and delivery etc. This is complimented by LMC which offers an array of customisable fittings that have been designed for use with the Goodall range giving a robust, high-performance assembly. The reorganisation of the facility will allow the business to service its customers more quickly and effectively using these brands. 

Reflecting on the project and looking to the future, Boomer observed: "Because of this upgrade to the facility we have set the groundwork for growth. We focus on an optimised engineered solution and work with our customers to offer them the benefit of our expertise and experience. This ensures that their systems operate as reliably as possible and that the solution we give them is fit for purpose."