With KVH’s expanding line of satellite communications and entertainment products—delivering access to e-mail, Internet, phone, and television anywhere on the planet—it’s no wonder a new manufacturing facility has been in the works. Demand for KVH’s products is growing rapidly as today’s digital lifestyle means people need to stay connected—whether they are crossing the ocean on a private yacht, working as crew on a commercial vessel, traveling across remote terrain for natural gas exploration, or simply enjoying life on the road in an RV. Just this week, V.Ships, the world’s largest independent ship manager, announced it had selected KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service for its fleet of more than 1,000 commercial vessels.
The new facility, located at 75 Enterprise Center—just up the street from KVH headquarters in Middletown—enables the company to make larger antennas like those needed for the new global C/Ku band miniVSAT Broadband network. As of mid-February, the production floor has been fully operational, according to Al Sylvestre, KVH manufacturing manager.
With 75 Enterprise up and running, several functions have been combined under one roof: Previously, manufacturing took place at 50 Enterprise Center (which will continue to house company headquarters and research/development), while shipping, receiving, and warehouse functions were located a few miles away, in a leased building.
“All satellite antenna manufacturing now takes place here,” said Sylvestre. “Our manufacturing space is nearly double what it was at 50 Enterprise. Before, production was cramped due to all the new products, and some larger products.”
At 75 Enterprise Center, a 75,000-square-foot facility, about one-third of the space is devoted to manufacturing, one-third to warehouse-shipping-receiving, and the remainder to such functions as service, quality control, booth display, and storage.
With everything under one roof, the supply chain has become much more efficient. Raw materials—cables, circuit boards, domes, dishes, and various parts—come in the door from KVH vendors, and are delivered to the sleek production floor, where skilled workers assemble such products as the TracPhone V3 and V7, TracVision A7, TracVision HD7 and the new TracVision HD11.
Assembled antenna dishes are tested in an environmental chamber that subjects them to changes in temperature and vibration. “Once the antenna dish passes the test, it goes back out to production for its dome, then gets packed up, and shipped out,” said Sylvestre.
Although a few small moving trucks will continue to shuttle back and forth from 50 to 75 Enterprise Center with various supplies for the next few weeks, the move is essentially complete. Welcome to the neighborhood, 75!