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Harris Products Group has strengthened its presence in the HVAC/R manufacturing market with the acquisition Fabricated Tube Products (FTP) and Shoals Tubular Inc. The two companies manufacture copper and aluminum headers, distributor assemblies and other complex brazed assemblies in the United States and Mexico for the HVAC/R sector.
Harris's parent company, Lincoln Electric, finalized the two acquisitions in July. The combined companies now offer HVAC/R OEMs a broad portfolio of solutions and application expertise for high-quality and efficient HVAC/R coil fabrication.
"At Harris, we provide a variety of brazing alloys and gas control components for the HVAC/R market. Now, with the additional offerings from FTP and Shoals, we can go to market with a full suite offering to provide a more full picture for our customers," said Kim Elliott, vice president of strategy and technology. "That's really where the benefit will be — there's a high degree of customer overlap between our legacy Harris business and both of these businesses."
Elliott added that Harris has great relationships with many FTP and Shoals customers already, and this acquisition "extends our ability to support them with a bigger team and a bigger portfolio," she said.
Having multiple production locations allows Harris to meet customer needs even more successfully, Elliott said. "This gives us greater flexibility in terms of production capacity, which is especially important now as the HVAC/R market is seeing very strong demand," she said.
Kyle Smith, director of global OEM for Harris Products Group, added that manufacturing close to customers is a key advantage.
"We now have a good footprint with facilities in Tennessee and Alabama in the U.S., as well as a plant in Monterrey, Mexico, so we can be very close to our customers," Smith said. "That proximity means we are now able to better meet customer needs."
Single source buying is another benefit to customers, Smith said. "We bring a wider product portfolio including headers, distributors, return bend crossovers and brazing alloys. We are the only manufacturer who can offer all those products together," Smith said. "We're going to support the entire coil. OEM customers will have one person to turn to, one partner to help drive those higher first pass yields."
The Shoals brand is known for high quality products as well as "a fantastic operational approach" for the high-volume residential HVAC/R market, Smith said. "FTP was a good competitor of ours and we're learning a lot from their processes to improve our offerings as well," Smith said.
Smith and his team look forward to being a strong partner with customers. He points to a number of objectives they're working on. "Our sales inventory and operations planning process at Harris allows us to plan for the ever changing demand with the HVAC/R OEMs. While many suppliers are challenged with labor, or raw materials, our ability to plan puts us a step ahead and that's going to help us be a fantastic supplier from a delivery standpoint," he said.