Hermle Machine Co. plans to nearly double the size of its Franklin facility to make room for an upgraded showroom and to accommodate its growing staff.
Manuel Merkt, Hermle president and chief operating officer, said the company will add nearly 15,000 square feet to the 15,000-square-foot building at 5100 W. Franklin Drive. He said the new space would be used for warehousing and additional office space.
The additional capacity will allow the company to build a training facility within its showroom for apprentices and training service technicians, Merkt said.
He added Hermle will also upgrade the showroom to match the high-end equipment the company sells.
The Franklin facility is the North American headquarters for German machining center manufacturer Hermle AG. The company opened the facility in the early 2000s, but Merkt said within the last few years the company has gained more traction and business has taken off.
“The manufacturing industry right now is getting stronger and stronger and in our opinion people are more willing to spend money on high-end, good-quality equipment,” Merkt said.
Hermle has 35 employees in North America with 15 to 19 working from the Franklin facility on a regular basis. Merkt said the company has expanded its operations in general, adding staff in the field as well as at the main office.
“For us it was just a no-brainer to expand the facility that we have,” he said.
The expansion will also give the company more room for its apprentice program. Hermle partnered with the German American Chamber of Commerce in 2017 to develop an apprenticeship modeled and benchmarked on the German dual education system.
Hermle currenly has one apprentice, but is looking to grow its program with the expansion.
“The goal is to hire more apprentices down the road,” Merkt said. “Right now we’re restricted by the lack of space.”
Planning for the expansion is in the final stages and Hermle is currently seeking state and local approvals. Merkt said the plan is to break ground as soon as possible in the spring.