On January 25th, The Hiller Companies was honored to host the Marine Machinery Association’s (MMA) monthly meeting. The meeting kicked off a two-day event in Mobile highlighting some of the most influential companies in the marine industry.
“Success in business is all about relationships,” Duncan Greenwood, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hiller said. “This meeting brought together several key members of the American shipbuilding industry to discuss growth, progress and new ways of approaching the shipbuilding process.”
More than 20 MMA members gathered in Mobile to learn about the local shipbuilding and maritime industries. Representatives from the MMA, Austal USA, Howell Labs, Ellwood National Forge Corporation, Pacific Marine Systems, Milwaukee Valve, Trident Marine Systems and more attended the meeting.
Dan May, Senior Purchasing Manager of Austal USA, gave a well-received presentation on the history of Austal from 2010 to present day. He detailed their growth from a double-wide trailer for personnel to now housing a 500-person auditorium. May also outlined their Littoral Combat Ship and Expeditionary Fast Transport programs for the US Navy with plans to increase weaponry and mission modules on the latter.
The Hiller Companies, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, John Cocke and CEO, Patrick Lynch also gave presentations highlighting the history of Hiller from its 1919 inception to its position today as a leader in the fire protection industry.
After the presentations, MMA members were given a tour of the Hiller facility, which included an in-depth look at the water mist system developed and manufactured by Securiplex. Attendees were treated to a buffet of local seafood following the tour.
“When you walk inside the door of The Hiller Companies you can see the pride the personnel have in their organization.” MMA Chairman of the Board John Rhatigan said. “The pride is shown everywhere from the cleanliness of the facility to the extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff. Everyone from CEO Patrick Lynch to the cleaning crew was engaging and a pleasure to deal with.”
Day two of the meeting offered MMA members a trip to the AIDT Maritime Training Center to meet with representatives of Horizon Shipbuilding. CEO Travis Short, Project Manager Lance Lemcool and IT Manager Jason Hinkofer of Horizon were in attendance. Short discussed the history of Horizon and the construction of repair ships, boats and barges. His team invented a new software package called “Gordhead”, a social media package for project management that has helped Horizon decrease costs and improve production rates.
MMA members also had the opportunity to tour the Austal USA shipyard and its largest fabrication shop, in which aluminum modules start production. A driving tour followed highlighting the outfitting piers and views of new LCS and EPF vessels.
“It was a very successful meeting, and we are so happy to have the opportunity to host and bring these great representatives from our industry together,” Lynch said. “Being able to tour two facilities and learn more about Hiller, Austal USA and Horizon was great for the MMA members. Knowing more about where these companies started and where they are going is helpful to us all and gives us some great insights for the future.”