We have heard credible reports that one of the oldest and largest laboratory furniture manufacturers, De Pere, Wisconsin-based Hamilton Scientific LLC appears to be ceasing all operations. On Friday, the Austin Business Journal reported the permanent closure of Hamilton Scientific’s Round Rock, Texas laboratory furniture factory, resulting in the 67 employee layoffs. According to news reports, the company’s Reynosa, Mexico plant has also been shuttered. The HamiltonScientific.com website has also been taken down. Many Hamilton Scientific customers have been contacting Formaspace, seeking information about how Formaspace can help Hamilton Scientific customers meet their current project delivery deadlines, now and into the future. We spoke with Jeff Turk, Formaspace Founder and CEO to hear firsthand how Formaspace stands ready to support Hamilton Scientific customers in what may be one of the biggest shakeups in the laboratory furniture manufacturing business in decades.
Q: Welcome Jeff. What is the Current Situation with Hamilton Scientific?
A: To be honest, there is a lot of anxiety in the lab furniture community given the credible reports we have received that Hamilton Scientific appears to be in the process of ceasing operations. Their website is down. The Round Rock factory closure has been confirmed. And now project managers and dealers are calling us to find out if we have the capacity to deliver laboratory furniture for orders they originally placed with Hamilton Scientific.
Q: How Can Formaspace Help Out Hamilton Scientific Customers?
A: We want Hamilton Scientific customers to know several things: First, over the last two years we have been preparing for the possibility that Hamilton Scientific might not survive the 2012 leveraged buyout by OpenGate Capital. Second, you may already know some of our key materials engineers and production staff who came to Formaspace from Hamilton Scientific over the past few years. The bottom line is we know your business and stand ready to help.
Q: What About Product Timelines? Can Formaspace Deliver? Will Prices Change?
A: Let me answer the last question first. Our prices will not change. We have a very tight, ethical operation here at Formaspace and price gouging is not in our vocabulary. We’re also committed to maintaining our fast lead times — even as demand grows. For example, Formaspace can provide standard lab bench products in three weeks or less. If you have an emergency, please let us know. We may be able to expedite your order, as we have already done for several leading dealers in this marketplace.
Q: Which Types of Hamilton Scientific Laboratory Furniture Orders Can Formaspace Supply?
A: Formaspace can provide benches, overhead conveyances and ancillary items as well as metal and laminate casework. We can provide overhead conveyances and other custom products previously produced by Hamilton faster than anyone else in the industry. The one type of furniture we do not supply is finished wood casework.
Q: How is Formaspace Preparing its Staff and Manufacturing Operations for the Influx of Hamilton Scientific Customers?
A: Planning and preparation is key. We’ve doubled our on-hand inventory of common products so we can ensure timely delivery. We’ve allocated substantial factory floor space to prepare for an influx of additional orders. We’ve also developed the ability to color match Hamilton products for a consistent installation appearance.
Q: How Can Hamilton Scientific Customers Engage with Formaspace?
A: First of all, I welcome you to the Formaspace family. We are committed to making sure you get the best possible experience when you buy laboratory furniture from us. Our furniture is made right here in Austin, Texas and we have the longest and most thorough guarantee in the industry: 12 years, even if you use it for three eight-hour shifts per day. Call us at 800.251.1505 to find out more about the Formaspace line of stock, semi-custom and custom-made laboratory furniture, industrial workbenches, racks, casework and fume hoods — as well as our laboratory design / furniture consulting services. If you are a general contractor, dealer, or enterprise-level end user, please feel free to call Formaspace directly at any time. We look forward to working with you.