Lydall CEO visits Yadkin to view new machinery

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

November 7, 2013

HAMPTONVILLE — Lydall’s leaders visited the company’s Hamptonville facility Halloween Day to usher in a brand new piece of machinery.

CEO Dale Barnhart and a group of officials visited the metals building to view the Seyi 440 ton automated press line, the newest addition to the numerous assembly lines.

The machine is tasked with making dual wall steel for the company’s new direct exhaust mount (DEM) or K-Flux family.

The machine takes stainless steel off a large roll of metal and presses two layers together. A layer of glass between the two metal sides reduces heat and dampens vibration in automobiles.

Seyi 440 is designed to increase production of more than five of Lydall’s thermal/acoustical product family types. The single wall, double wall and air gap, double wall and fiber, vibration damped, and multi-layer foil lines will be aided by the new machine’s output.

The new piece of equipment is expected to add between eight and 10 jobs to the plant.

The new machinery took the place of a similarly-tasked machine. That piece of equipment was moved to another part of the metals building piece by piece in July.

The move took roughly two weeks and made room for the new process to be housed under the same roof.

Lydall has seen increased demand for its products, especially from Chrysler’s 2012 Jeep Liberty, the 2014 Ford Edge and Ford’s MKZ vehicles. Lydall was awarded the business from both companies and has increased the production capacity to fill the need.

The increase in business is a welcome occurrence at Lydall. The Hamptonville-based Thermal/Acoustical plant was at one time near closure as demand for its products and its ability to produce fell.

After a dramatic turnaround, the division is now one of the company’s main assets. Demand has reached so high the company has expanded its metals building, brought in new machinery, and plans to expand the building again in the future.

Barnhart thanked the employees and managers at the end of a guided plant tour. He said that the circumstances of this visit were much different than the ones when he visited in 2009, thanks to the changes made and the hard work of the employees.

He and his team were escorted around the metals building and shown the different processes firsthand.

Robotic machinery worked side by side with employees to aid in production, not cut staff numbers.

At one point, Barnhart stopped and looked at the “Lydall Family Tree.”

Lydall’s Hamptonville plant recently shut down the plant and allowed employees and their families to come in for a get-together. Family members took paint and added hand prints to a painted tree on a previously blank white wall.

The wall and the visit by Lydall’s corporate leaders show the strong emphasis on the employees and their worth to the company.

The metals building is one of two divisions at Hamptonville. The metals building primarily handles the aluminum, stainless steel, and aluminized steel used in the automotive products. The other primarily handles the fiber used in the acoustical and thermal products for vehicles.

A separate plant in Yadkinville handles distribution.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.