Alfa Laval Inc., a manufacturer of heat transfer and fluid handling systems, has added a new production line at its plant in eastern Henrico County.
The addition, which created 15 jobs, is part of a $50 million investment by Sweden-based Alfa Laval to expand capacity at three of its U.S. plants.
The Henrico plant, on International Trade Drive near Richmond International Airport, makes equipment such as heat exchangers used in industrial applications such as food processing and in air conditioners, heat pumps and other applications.
The new production unit at the Henrico plant manufactures brazed heat exchangers for the U.S. market.
“It is a step forward,” said Jan Vanhoren, president of Alfa Laval North America, speaking at an event the company held Tuesday to mark the opening of the production unit. “The reason for these investments is to get closer to our customers. We want to assure that we are faster and more flexible for our customers.”
Brazed heat exchangers are used in applications requiring a small footprint and high pressure performance, such as in engines.
Alfa Laval opened the Henrico plant in 1990 and previously expanded it in 2002. The plant employs about 285 people.
The other U.S. investments by Alfa Laval include a new production facility for spiral heat exchangers in Broken Arrow, Okla., and an expanded facility in Greenwood, Ind., with an automated distribution center.
Tuesday’s event was attended by employees; executives including Tom Erixon, president and CEO of parent company Alfa Laval AB; and local officials. Also attending was Björn Arvidsson, head of trade and economic affairs for the Embassy of Sweden.