Salina hose maker to expand operations

The Post-Standard - Syracuse, New York
By: Charley Hannagan, Staff writer
Tuesday, October 04, 2005


J.G.B. Enterprises to add 30 workers, enlarge buildings to make military water system

Every time the bell rings at J.G.B. Enterprises Inc., the company has landed a significant contract.

Friday, the chiming bell announced that the company had won a $40 million deal to make drinking water systems for the U.S. Air Force. It's the hose maker's largest contract.

The contract means the Salina-based company will add 30 workers in six months and expand its Executive Drive building in Salina by 30,000 square feet. That's in addition to a 15,000 square-foot expansion begun at the Metropolitan Drive building last week.

Great news from the bell. Unfortunately, the Air Force didn't tell the company it had won the award until 6:30 Friday evening, when almost everyone had gone home for the weekend.

Company officials rang the bell anyway, even though "there was really nobody here to hear it," said Marty Salanger, the sales manager who spent four months negotiating the contract.

The company doesn't ring the bell for every new order, just for significant ones, he said, adding "it's rung quite a lot lately."

J.G.B. will design, engineer, make and assemble the water system. The system includes reverse-osmosis water purification units, pumping stations, 3,000- and 20,000-gallon water bladders, cold weather kits and various potable sewage and waste water hose assemblies.

The government will pay J.G.B. $28.8 million of the $40 million contract in the first year. The company will make two complete water systems in addition to other sub-systems, Salanger said.

The purification units produce drinking water from natural sources, such as a pond, lake, stream or ocean.

The system will supply enough water so that a camp of 3,300 people can use 30 gallons of water per person per day. It also must store enough water to sustain the camp for five days with no new production.

The units will be used around the world for military and humanitarian purposes, Salanger said.

The company must design and test the unit, which should take about six months, before it begins production, Salanger said. That's when the company will need to hire 30 workers, he said. J.G.B. employs 185 people.

The company has begun a 15,000-square-foot expansion of its 60,000-square-foot building on Metropolitan Drive in Salina.

The company's second building, around the corner on Executive Drive, will double in size with the Air Force contract, going from 30,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet, Salanger said.

J.G.B. was founded in 1977 by J.G. Bernhardt and David Emmons, who died in 1998. The company supplies hoses and assemblies used by the military and a variety of industries. Its products refuel aircraft, make snow, spray paint, pump concrete, fight fires and have other industrial uses.

In addition to the Salina office, J.G.B. has branches in Buffalo, Charlotte, N.C., and Kansas City, Kan.