Machine-tool firm moving to Norwich

Norwich — A German machine-tool company is setting up its North American headquarters at the Stanley Israelite Norwich Business Park, moving five employees from Massachusetts to a 4,500-square-foot space that once served as a rubber manufacturing plant.


Jim Langan, a Norwich resident who serves as chief financial officer of Maier USA, said he expects to be settled into the building at 19 Ohio Ave. by April 1. The space is under renovation to create both a tool room and offices.


“The economy is looking good,” Langan said. “A lot of our customers have had record years for their job shops.”


Maier USA originally had set up shop in Webster, Mass. But Langan said two of the company’s principals live in Colchester, so it made more sense to find an appropriate building in eastern Connecticut.


Maier USA, according to Langan, makes sliding head stock lathes and linear drive Swiss lathes, high-tech machines that can be custom designed for a variety of purposes, including the manufacture of bone screws and hip balls for surgeries, automotive parts, defense applications and even gun barrels.


The machines are manufactured in Germany and will be shipped to Norwich, where they will be customized with high-pressure pumps and other accessories. The plant will be responsible for conducting tests of the equipment before shipping them to buyers.


In the future, if all goes well, Langan said, it’s possible that Maier will transfer some manufacturing capabilities to Norwich.


“We know there’s a capable workforce out there,” he said.


Langan said Maier has the potential to add anywhere from four to six new employees in the next three years. Most of these would be service technicians and application engineers, he said.


Robert Mills, president of the Norwich Community Development Corp., said Maier’s move to the industrial park leaves only two buildings empty. One has had environmental issues, he said, while another, formerly owned by Thames Printing, has three offers pending.


“You can tell when the economy starts to move,” Mills said.


The NCDC took Maier officials, who had been seeking a business park environment, through the industrial area about seven months ago. They did not seek any subsidies to move in, he added.


“It was just what they needed,” he said.


Maier USA, established in 2008, is a subsidiary of Maier Machine Works, based in Wehingen, Germany. Its machining centers can be found in 26 countries.


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