Tubigomma Deregibus S.R.L. is investing about $1 million to expand capacity at its hose factory in Padua, reflecting what the firm sees as an improved mood among manufacturers in Europe.
The specialty hose maker, which does business as Tudertechnica, plans to have two new hose production lines in place during the first half of 2016, according to Andrea Deregibus, the firm's chief operating officer and co-owner.
“Because of this feeling that something good is coming—and also the results and prospects we have—this is the right time to make the investment,” he said.
Tudertechnica has the space in its facility to handle new machinery, which will be designed to handle hoses with inside diameters of 2 to 24 inches. Employment may grow some but will still stay in the 80-employee range, he said.
The lines will be flexible for use on existing hose products as well as any future lines. For example, the company will be able to make an air transfer silicone hose up to 20 inches, “things nobody will do,” Deregibus said.
Silicone is among a variety of elastomers Tudertechnica uses, including such materials as SBR, Viton, nitrile and Teflon.
“For us an elastomer is something we will work with to make a product that meets your expectations,” he said. “We will use what is best for your need. This is something the big companies cannot do. I want you to have the right hose because you have to sell to your customer.”
A company spokesman said the difference between Tudertechnica and the larger hose firms is that the big companies want to produce “10 miles of everything they make. Tudertechnica takes a specific application and makes a design for it,” he said. “That's the key to being a specialty hose maker: having a specific hose for a specific application.”