Technomad Centralizes Green Manufacturing Operations at New England Facility, Contributes to Local and U.S. Economy
Headlines around the world continue to broadcast the dire state of the U.S. economy, along with the associated business closings and job losses. Manufacturing is one such industry that has been hit hard across the country, with seemingly new announcements every day about another company closing its doors for good.
While the big picture seems challenging at best, plenty of manufacturers large and small are reporting success in a variety of different businesses. One needs to look no further than New England to discover a thriving local manufacturing scene among the professional audio industry, a niche business that has shown vitality in these challenging economic times thanks to creative, high-quality products and engineering. Pro audio manufacturers are moving loudspeakers, signal processing equipment and other gear to a variety of customers; cruise ships, theme parks, and stadiums and arenas are among the more active segments. Sales are steady-to-brisk both in the U.S. and internationally, further helping the bottom line for many companies.
Technomad, a leading manufacturer of weatherproof outdoor loudspeakers and Turnkey PA systems since 1995, is one of these companies contributing to the success of the pro audio industry as well as the economy. The company recently celebrated its 13th anniversary of boutique manufacturing in the U.S.A., and has shipped more than 23,700loudspeakers from its manufacturing facility in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. And in a market where many firms are reducing product innovations and cutting budgets for research and development, Technomad recently introduced two game-changing new products: Schedulon, a new automatic mp3 player and recording system for pro audio and commercial security applications; and PowerChiton, a series of compact weatherproof outdoor amplifier modules that allows system designers to place amplifiers closer to the loudspeaker in challenging indoor/outdoor installations.
“Technomad is proud to contribute to the long-standing tradition of New England manufacturing. New England has long been recognized as a prominent region for the production and export of electronics including pro audio equipment, and Technomad is just one of many companies that play a role in this ongoing success,” said Rodger Von Kries, Vice President of Technomad. “We’re also committed to manufacturing all of our products in the U.S.A. to ensure the careful craftsmanship of all Technomad loudspeakers and pro audio products is centralized in our Massachusetts facility, while also contributing to the local, regional and national economy.”
The manufacturing side of the business employs small teams to work on the same hand-built loudspeaker from start to finish, with multiple quality checks along the way. This process creates a highly consistent production environment that ultimately reflects the cost and quality of the loudspeakers. Performance data for each loudspeaker is recorded, which consultants and design engineers often use to plan installation points and audio directivity throughout a new venue. This includes the new GLL (Generic Loudspeaker Library) format, of which Technomad is an early adopter. GLL format data gives design engineers, consultants and contractors more options in positioning and simulating loudspeakers in large sports, entertainment and other venues that require array or clustered installations.
The company also employs a green approach to its manufacturing approach, using 100-percent recycled plastic for its black loudspeakers and eliminating lead from the soldering process to comply with strict RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations in Europe. RoHS compliance has raised Technomad’s profile in Europe and elsewhere overseas, and the company has begun to stock its products overseas to enable faster response times to European orders, and more cost- and time-efficient deliveries.
Technomad’s use of recycled plastic and localized manufacturing operation has led to an increase in LEED-certified projects in recent months. Functional Devices, a MUZAK affiliate in upstate New York, is one example; the company recently ordered 42 Technomad Vernal loudspeakers for a LEED-certified installation. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
Technomad was the first professional loudspeaker manufacturer to introduce Mil-Spec weatherproof loudspeaker systems with exceptional voice intelligibility and superior musical output for the professional audio industry. All Technomad loudspeakers also have an IP56 rating from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for maximum protection against hazardous materials, shock, and dirt and water ingression — meaning it can survive outdoor elements in the harshest of conditions.
“Pro audio manufacturers in general put a large amount of care into product development, which has allowed our industry to persevere through economic downturns,” said Von Kries. “Technomad has always been careful to support research and development efforts, and maintain a specific production process that results in a consistent product. This careful attention to detail is important to our growth as a company, and niche manufacturers such as Technomad, although not household names, are working hard to contribute positively to the economy — in New England and beyond.”