By Steve Bigham Republican-American
PROSPECT — SI Electronic Products Corp., a world-leading supplier of electronics for the fitness and medical industries, has opened a new state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot facility at 109 Waterbury Road.
The company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 16 with a guest list that included Prospect Mayor Robert J. Chatfield, state Sen. Robert Sampson and state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus.
ESI has been around for 40 years, including 35 in Prospect. It was previously located at a smaller location at 7 Industrial Road, Prospect.
The company’s new address is located in the building that formerly housed the Ben-Art Manufacturing Company, which closed about a year ago.
The company has long made a name for itself in the industry. Its ESI technology features hardware, software and wireless connectivity for products used in homes, health clubs and rehabilitation clinics.
Its electronics, including state-of-the art, cloud-based consoles, can be found on, for example, treadmills and other exercise equipment. Its technology is relied on by names like Nautilus Industries, Landice Treadmills, Biodex Medical Systems and numerous other manufacturers.
”They come to us for our expertise in electronics,” said Reza Khani, company owner.
Khani said the new plant provides the capacity to better deliver its high-tech, cloud-connected technology, which includes heart rate monitoring, sonar ranging, Bluetooth and Apple NFC.
He said the new plant features automated manufacturing and assembly processes for low to high volume production. It will also house its design, testing, process and prototype engineering teams.
Khani said Electronic Products Corp. is commited to minimizing its operation’s carbon footprint.
“Our significant investment in the new plant and production equipment will reduce our energy usage by 45 percent,” he said. “The cost reduction, coupled with our great design and production teams, will help us support our customers and compete with foreign competition.”
Khani, who was born in Iran and came to the U.S. in 1978, said he loves living and working in New England. A sign on the wall says “Connecticut-made.”
”People talk about issues in Connecticut, but I remain optimistic, and it is small businesses like us that are the backbone,” he said.
Khani declined to release sales numbers or total number of employees, but he said he does plan to hire additional staff and add a second shift of plant workers.
He said the company has prided itself on always treating its employees well and said the new facility was designed with that in mind.
ESI Electronic Products Corp. was originally founded in 1982 by Frank Sundermeyer, an electrical engineer who still works for the company as head of research and development and product management.
Chatfield said he is thrilled that the company is staying in town. He said it is a direct result of Prospect’s continuous improvements and upgrades to its infrastructure system, which has been made possible through millions of dollars of state and federal grants the town has received over the past 20 years.
“People talk about issues in Connecticut, but I remain optimistic, and it is small businesses like us that are the backbone.”