Automated value stream
manager Duane Bock looks through a safety guard while
talking about the construction of the new distribution
area Monday morning at Broan-NuTone in Hartford. The
company is celebrating 85 years and 50 in Hartford this
John Ehlke/Daily News
HARTFORD — As
Broan-NuTone celebrates its 85th year in business, the
company with a focus on indoor air quality continues to
expand and change.
global company has been in Hartford for about 50 years
and employs more than 2,500 people in seven countries.
It makes ventilation fans, kitchen range hoods and
central vacuum systems, among several other products.
Hartford alone, there are about 850 employees and the
company hopes to add more than 80 positions. Recent
changes at the Hartford facility include the removal of
several walls and upgrades to the plant.
“We’re transforming the plant, kind of modernizing it,”
automated value stream manager Duane Bock said. He said
the space is also much more open since some walls were
the company has grown, it’s added to its facilities
about 20 times, but typically left walls up, only until
recently. Part of those updates include another addition
to expand their shipping and storage area by 150,000
Construction continues Monday morning on the new
distribution area, which will be roughly 150,000 square
feet, at Broan-NuTone in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News
This will bring their operations throughout the area
under one roof. The company is also closing one of two
facilities in Canada and bringing those operations back
to Hartford, according to President and CEO Frank
said they will bring some projects to both Hartford and
Mexico. Carroll added the change is “giving us more
capacity to distribute to Canada and the U.S.”
though Bock said Broan-NuTone is modernizing, it has
been on that path long before its 85th year in business.
“We’ve had robots in here since 1983,” Bock said.
Painting robots, one of the earlier additions, may not
be the newest the world has to offer for technology.
However, Broan-NuTone added a laser last year to cut
production runs, and last month it brought in a TruBend
Cell to bend metal into parts for products.
“This used to be done by an operator,” Bock said about
the parts the TruBend Cell makes.
increase in modern equipment is certainly something the
company is likely proud of and the same likely goes for
their workforce, which Bock said is flexible enough to
move from one assembly line to another.
whole system works quickly enough for Broan-NuTone to
produce just two to three days out, accurately providing
what is in demand.
one area they’re struggling with is finding the people
for the jobs they have available.
“There’s not enough skilled labor in the area,” senior
global director of channel marketing Michelle Gross
said. She added the company is working with nearby
colleges to find people with the skills they need. In
addition, the company hosts job fairs.
continue to grow,” Carroll said. He added the company
expects to grow 4.5 percent this year and between 3 and
5 percent in 2018.
Part of the growth includes the launch of a new range
hood this year and a series of new products through
Broan-NuTone to open for public
honor of the company’s 85th anniversary and to celebrate
its warehouse expansion, Broan-NuTone will open its
doors to the public and host plant tours for the
When: 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday
Broan-NuTone headquarters, 926 W. State St., Hartford
Tours will start every quarter hour and allow customers
and local Wisconsin residents to see what goes on inside