News Article

Battery to hire 100 at Canton plant
Date: Jul 14, 1997
Author: Samantha T. Smith
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Battery Engineering Inc of Canton, MA

Battery Engineering Inc. plans to hire up to 100 workers in the next year as part of a $3.5 million expansion designed to keep up with market demand and the changing technological needs of its customers.

The Canton-based battery maker this week dedicated a new 32,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and headquarters at the Canton Commerce Center, more than doubling the size of its former Hyde Park location in Boston.

The company will hire the additional workers in the next year to help meet production needs, said Robert Fay, a company spokesman. Battery Engineering already employs about 100 workers.

The new plant has high-capacity manufacturing lines, research-and-development labs and testing facilities that will help the company create new products and keep up with production needs, said James Epstein, Battery Engineering president and co-founder.

"The demand for batteries is growing and growing at an unprecedented pace," he said. "They want lighter, higher-energy batteries."

The company was founded 20 years ago and has since become a leader in creating extremely durable, long-lasting lithium batteries capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures, from minus-50 degrees Celsius to more than 200 degrees Celsius. The company's batteries mostly are used by industrial customers to supply power for oil drilling and geophysical exploration equipment and medical devices.

Some of the batteries have even been used on NASA space shuttle missions.

But Battery Engineering, a subsidiary of Japan-based Hitachi/Maxwell Ltd., has found another market for its lithium batteries.

Among the biggest users of the lithium batteries are cellular phones and laptop computers, two industries that keep demanding that batteries are made smaller and more light weight.

Battery Engineering has taken the technology one step farther with plans this fall to start creating prototypes of a rechargeable battery designed for cellular phones and laptops, Epstein said.

Thanks to the additional space, the company will be able to add manufacturing lines for the new process, he said.

The additional space also will help the company boost production and increase Battery Engineering's ability to customize products for its industrial customers.

The company was founded in 1977 in Dr. Nikola Marincic's garage. Epstein joined the business a year later and has since become president. Seven years ago, Hitachi/Maxwell invested in the business.

Company officials started looking two years ago for more space and eventually decided to leave Boston for a smaller area town.