In skylines all over the world, there are high rises with highly-engineered channels that connect the steel beams and concrete floors to the skyscraping walls and windows.
Those channels and other architectural accessories have a connection to San Antonio that’s growing.
Last week, City officials joined representatives from the U.S. headquarters of Halfen, a German fixing technology company, and the company’s European leadership in cutting the ribbon on a new 70,000 sq. ft. building in the Eisenhauer Industrial Complex in the City of Windcrest.
“We tripled our manufacturing space and it gives (us) room for growth in our office personnel,” said Daniel Zucker, business improvement manager for Halfen USA, the high-tech, $20 million company based in San Antonio.
“We are planning (on) doubling our revenue within the next five to seven years. It’s a very exciting transition and a next chapter in Halfen USA’s future,” he said.
Founded in 1929, Langenfeld, Germany-based Halfen is a leader in manufacturing engineering accessories which includes technologies for anchoring, reinforcement, mounting/framing and façade fixing, and systems for transport anchoring and tension rods. Halfen employs about 1,000 people worldwide.
To get a better understanding of Halfen’s products, go downtown and look at any high-rise building or pull into a parking structure. In the case of the high-rise, you won’t actually see the Halfen-made accessories, but they are the critical pieces that connect and stabilize the façade of the building.
“The engineering that goes into the design of our anchor channels handles the environmental factors that a building would be exposed to, for example wind, façade weight, earthquakes, and so on,” Zucker explained. “Our engineering group has to engineer different ways to handle not only the environmental factors but also the architectural aspects as well.”
In the case of the parking garage, there are Halfen shear dowels, which again remain unseen, that allow the concrete to expand and contract without creating cracks. Zucker said that although there are many types of dowels that do this, the installation method for Halfen dowels improves the longevity and quality of construction.
The DETAN tension rod systems, which are the Halfen products that aren’t usually hidden under concrete or steel and commonly used in bridges, airports, and train stations are aesthetically pleasing, Zucker said. Halfen also offers “green” products that increase thermal efficiency in buildings or reduce heat transfers from the exterior to the interior of brick buildings.
According to the Halfen website, the company “believes in close proximity to the customer. With our own subsidiaries or via distributors we have achieved this target in more than 60 countries worldwide.”
Halfen USA was once a sister company to San Antonio’s Meadow Burke, but became its own entity in 2011.
Halfen USA employs a total of 70 people in the U.S. Fifty of them are based here in San Antonio – about half are office support employees and the other half work in plant operations.
The company’s previous location, a 17,000 sq. ft. space in Converse, Texas, lacked not only the room to grow, but also the tech features it now employs for environmental monitoring. Halfen USA’s new home in Windcrest caters the company’s growing needs and allows for its projected expansion.
Windcrest, home to managed cloud-computing company Rackspace, had another unique location advantage.
“Windcrest has a very good reputation when it comes to security,” Zucker said. “We are always interested in safety and security for our manufacturing.”
To see Halfen’s full product portfolio, click here.
Top image: Halfen USA products were used to construct Harrah’s Hotel in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Halfen USA.