Walking through Current’s LED light manufacturing facility in Hendersonville. N.C., you’d be surprised to learn that the plant has been in operation since 1955. Inside this pristine facility, you’ll see robotics and digital equipment that you would expect to find in any state-of-the-art manufacturing operation. What is even more surprising as you watch the employees efficiently build the lighting fixtures is that the plant faced potential closure in 2008.
Prior to 2010, the fulfillment lead time for most orders was six to eight weeks with an on-time shipping rate of 60 percent. Today the plant delivers most orders in two to four weeks with an on-time rate over 95 percent.
“We manufacture primarily outdoor lights for highways, streets, and parking lots at this facility,” said David Martin, who has been the Hendersonville plant manager since 2014. “We have another facility in Acuña, Mexico, that does primarily indoor fixtures. We do manufacture some indoor products as well, including lights used in industrial applications. We have also started to manufacture a new horticultural series of LED fixtures, the Arize Factor, along with the updated Arize Element series, which has been made overseas.
“Recently we started manufacturing a new indoor product that we call our 365DisInFx LPU, a UV disinfectant puck. It is a product that is mounted on the ceiling similar to a smoke detector and it sends out UV light that inactivates airborne viruses.”
“We have all the ingredients or parts in stock so that we can build a light fixture whenever an order comes in,” he said. “We have a lead time for orders, but it is based more on capacity and orders that are ahead of an incoming order. The ability to make any SKU at any time is something that we take pride in.
“The products are already pre-engineered and then the customers select which ones they want. Customers may order a model with certain features and options and using our flexible manufacturing process we can customize a fixture to meet each customer’s specific needs. We make every fixture from scratch with the features and options that our customers select.”
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