North Central / Regional Reports

Watts Radiant Holds Open House At New Facility

Mike Chiles, president of Watts Radiant, addresses the open house crowd.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Watts Radiant recently held an open house and ribbon cutting for its new facility in Springfield. The manufacturing plant has 143,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space.

Before a gathering of employees, friends, local business leaders, and suppliers, Mike Chiles, president of Watts Radiant, said, "We deeply appreciate the continued support of and business relationships with our friends in the radiant and plumbing business. This new facility is the culmination of several years' effort. It took years of planning to make it exactly what we need to meet and exceed customer needs, and to grow the business.

"We can now say with full conviction that we, too, are investing in the future of radiant heat," stated Chiles. "We at Watts Radiant strive to offer quality, innovation, leading technology, and friendly service - and we're in it for the long haul, purely by choice. This is where we most want to be."

In 2003, Watts Radiant sales were up 10 percent over 2002. In 2004, sales are up 44 percent. This year the company had three record-breaking sales months in March, June (during the move), and September. Onix (EPDM tubing) sales are up 20 percent, RadiantPEX sales are up 30 percent, and WaterPEX sales are up 100 percent. Anticipated sales growth for 2005 is 20 percent.

"Clearly, it's a good time for us to be moving and expanding with the growth of our business," said Chiles.

The new Watts Radiant manufacturing plant opened in September 2004.
Watts Radiant previously had three manufacturing/office buildings and six warehouses. The new building sits on 20 acres and is part of the Partnership Industrial Center in northeast Springfield.

According to Chiles, the new facility permits all of the firm's departments to spread out, with room to grow. "We put a lot of planning into the building's layout and design before the move and were especially attentive to streamlining manufacturing and shipping processes."

For example, noted Chiles, the firm's HydroControl Panel department now has much more room to build large-capacity HydroSkids. The parts department has added an automatic bagging machine that determines the quantity of parts going into a bag. The manifold department now has a new manifold fabrication machine that is isolated on its own concrete pad within the new building to eliminate environmental vibration. And the firm's electric department has added another cutting table in its assembly process.

As part of the new facility, Watts Radiant also constructed a two-story "Hands-On House" within the building. The house will also serve as a set for video productions, professional photography, and various research and development projects.

At the open house, Patrick O'Keefe, CEO of Watts Water Technologies, said, "I want to congratulate the entire Watts Radiant team for a job well done. I truly appreciate the tremendous effort that was put forth in moving to your new facility. What is most remarkable is that the move was accomplished with minimal disruption to customer service - and during a very busy month for the company."

Watts Radiant offers both hydronic and electric radiant product lines. In addition to manufacturing, Watts Radiant also distributes related products from Watts affiliates in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Publication date: 12/20/2004

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