September 25, 2018
Manufacturing insights

Hardline Heat Treating to double facilities with $3M upgrade

Photo | Courtesy
Robert Chalue

Thanks to tax financing agreement with Southbridge worth more than $100,000, Hardline Heat Treating is moving forward with plans to expand its facility in which it was founded 14 years ago. In an interview with WBJ, President and Founder Robert Chalue spoke about the company's history in Southbridge and plans for expansion.

How long have you been in business?

We opened for our first sale in May 20004.

How have you grown since then?

We've grown substantially. We started off with three people, and we're now pushing 40.

What is heat treating?

Heat treating is the hardening and softening of various materials – mostly metals and some plastics. It's a thermal process so it's either done by heating and cooling. We utilize large furnaces, and it can be done under a vacuum or in a container with a gaseous atmosphere.

What is the end goal?

Hardening could be for wear or strength. In some cases, materials need to be made softer because they're too brittle. Generally, whatever the manufacturer specifies is the procedure that we follow.

Are you in the same facility that the company started in?

Yes, we're still in that same facility. We currently occupy two buildings. Our longtime home is about 10,000 square feet and another is about 8,000 square feet up the street from our main building.

The expansion will be at what we call Building Two. About two-thirds of that building will be taken down and a new structure will be erected in its place and expanded from there. The project should give us a total of about 42,000 square feet of space.

You'll be more than doubling the company's current space. Has space been tight?

We've been bursting at the seams for the last couple of years. It's taken us at least two years to come up with this plan. We had plans for another site, and we were almost there until we found out the excavation costs were going to be far too high.

We abandoned that plan and started looking at the two properties we're occupying now. We're planning on putting everything under one roof.

Will jobs be added to fill that space?

Yes. We're anticipating to add at least 10.

How much is the company investing in the project?

Not including the sale of our current building, somewhere between $2.5 million and $3 million.

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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