British manufacturer makes good on Caribou expansion plans

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British filter manufacturer Porvair has started on a 7,000-square-foot expansion at the site of Chand Eisenmann Metallurgical, which it acquired last year for $5.5 million with the promise of new investment.

The company said in a statement that construction on the approximately $1 million expansion will be completed in December, increasing the facility’s production capacity for filters used in a variety of commercial applications.

“The expansion will offer increased capability to design and manufacture our products, as well as strengthening our capability to meet the growing demands of our customers across a range of industrial sectors,” Kevin Nelson, president of Porvair’s U.S. operations, said. “It will also be a showcase facility, where we can bring customers to demonstrate our technology, solutions and capabilities to offer practical and cost-effective design solutions.”

Porvair bought Eisenmann Metallurgical in 2013, when the company had about 40 employees, and promised investment to expand the facility as the British company expands its footprint and sales in North America and South America. The Aroostook County Republican and News reported company officials said there are no specific plans to hire more employees, but that the company’s expansion into new markets likely would fuel hiring.

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Internationally, Porvair’s microfiltration division, of which the Caribou facility is a part, grew revenue by about 15 percent in 2013, up from 2012. Sales in the Americas made up about 46 percent of the publicly traded company’s revenue.

The Caribou facility is one of the company’s five U.S. locations and is one of three U.S. locations that manufacture microfiltration devices. The company has plants in North Carolina and Illinois focused on filters for molten metal.

The company’s filters also are sold for use in environmental laboratories, energy and industrial applications and aviation.

Brewer-based engineering firm CES Inc. is consultant on the project, which it estimated would cost about $1 million in an application to the Caribou Planning Board in August.

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