CAREL USA expands its operations in Manheim

Martino Manfrin, regional CEO of CAREL North America, speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the plant expansion of CAREL USA’s facility in Manheim in September. (Photo: Submitted)

In a business climate where manufacturing has been disappearing fading increasingly for decades in the country, it’s a European-based company producing hardware and software for air-conditioning and refrigeration systems is helping to bring new jobs to Central Pennsylvania through expansion.

Last month, CAREL USA debuted its expanded production facility in Lancaster County. The Manheim-based company with its international headquarters in Brugine, Italy, has more than doubled its plant size in the Greentree Business Center on South Oak Street, going from 35,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet.

Company officials said the 40,000-square-foot expansion was helping to increase CAREL’s presence in the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets, and will support its future growth projections. The increased manufacturing capacity was also expected to improve procurement lead times for customers, officials said, cutting down the wait for heating and cooling system installations.

As many as 70 jobs were expected to be created at the Manheim headquarters, officials said, including a majority in operations, logistics, finance, supply chain and customer care.

Hundreds of dignitaries, government officials, company representatives and CAREL USA employees filled the expanded building at the beginning of September for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Pietro Rossato, COO of the CAREL group in Italy, said the extra space in the plant will allow the company to expand its range of products, pointing to the programmable controllers made in Manheim. Rossato said the company’s controllers will be fully manufactured in the Manheim plant.

“We are extremely happy, and at the same time proud, to be able to inaugurate the expansion of our North America headquarters today,” Rossato said. “This investment is in line with what we have defined as the pillars of our industrial development: the proximity of factories to the market, with obvious benefits in terms of service, reduction in working capital and optimization of the supply chain, business continuity through technological mirroring and process replication between different plants, and digitalization.”

According to company representatives, CAREL USA was established in 2000 when it acquired DGH Systems, a small CAREL distributor of 13 employees operating out of the Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township. Two years later, the company announced it had selected the Manheim site, once owned by the former Raymark Industries, to open its North American headquarters.

Its original 35,000-square-foot facility opened in 2003. The most recent expansion, started in December, was completed by Speedwell Construction of Penn Township.

The Lancaster County plant is one of seven CAREL production facilities worldwide producing hardware and software to control air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. The North American branch of the company also has offices in Mexico City, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Monterrey.

CAREL officials indicated that the North American operation contributed 13 percent of the group’s total revenues for 2018, bringing in more than $38 million.

Besides the Manheim plant expansion, the company has also expanded its operations into Canada with the acquisition of Enersol Inc., a distributor of humidification systems.

The deal was finalized in late September, company officials said, giving CAREL USA management over the company that was founded in 1978 in Beloeil, Quebec. The two companies have been working together as commercial partners since 2000 when CAREL USA was officially created.

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed by officials.

Enersol’s current manager, Patrick Landry, has been appointed managing director of the new CAREL subsidiary.

“We are proud to be able to present a new acquisition in such an important market for us as that of North America,” said Martino Manfrin, regional CEO of CAREL North America. “This operation is part of our expansion strategy of the direct sales network, aimed at reinforcing the direct relationship with our clients in order to consolidate the strong growth in the North American market and our leadership position on the global market.”