New Hampshire Industries – Claremont, New Hampshire

July 31, 2023
New Hampshire Industries - Claremont, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Industries

rolls out the quality


Manufacturing a brighter future today


Associate Editor

CLAREMONT, N.H.––The team of people at New Hampshire Industries are makers.

They’re well known for making custom-engineered parts and assemblies. The employees of this middle-market but important business, also known simply as “NHI” and located in the heart of the Granite State, have been mechanical-motion experts for the past 63 years.

NHI churns out millions of parts annually to an array of customers in different industries across the globe. NHI earned the prestigious honor of being the 2018 Business of the Year for the Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce Annual President’s Award.

In the West Lebanon, N.H.-based newspaper, Valley News, that same year, reporter Patrick O’Grady wrote:

“New Hampshire Industries consolidated its manufacturing in a vacant 137,000-square-foot building off River Road and now employs more than 100 people. ‘They have helped our community with many well-paying jobs in doing what our community has done best in its past: manufacturing,’ one nomination letter for NHI said.”

Since that time NHI has grown to more than 140 employees.

New Hampshire Industries - Claremont, New Hampshire

John Batten, President

Amongst NHI’s leaders are John Batten and Zachary Kerin. We recently spoke with Batten and Kerin, respectively the company’s president and its vice president of sales, marketing and engineering, and they told us more about what makes NHI so special.

With its stellar reputation as a manufacturer of mechanical assemblies, stampings, injection-molded and machined components, pulleys and bearings, NHI strives to be a premier global provider to its many clients. Its rugged, mechanical power-transfer products are seen in such industries as outdoor power equipment, material-handling, conveyor and aggregate, power transmission, elevators and others. For more than six decades, the company has accomplished this mission by constantly exceeding its customers’ expectations in quality, delivery and service. NHI reps proudly say that they’re committed to making their customers and employees alike 100-percent successful, maintaining a safe and clean working environment; and operating in an environmentally and socially responsible way. And that, as Batten and Kerin explained, is what makes NHI better.

Despite its advanced age, as Kerin informed, NHI is a very modern company. NHI has more capabilities under one roof than a typical company of its size. Applying such newer technologies as robotics, automation and laser-cutting and maintaining continuous improvement allow advanced technology to drive the company’s manufacturing processes.

Batten spoke about NHI’s history and growth by acquisition, which eventually led to the company’s consolidation into its current facility.

“We purchased a competitor, (Wisconsin-based) Myers Manufacturing, in 2006,” he revealed, adding that in 2011, NHI also purchased Phoenix Manufacturing, a distribution company.

Batten also noted NHI’s international capabilities.

“We do source a lot of products across the oceans,” he said. “We have a pretty extensive supply-chain reach.”

Coupled with NHI’s domestic capabilities, this is a significant advantage, Batten said.

Kerin noted how NHI sells to a diverse base of customers.

New Hampshire Industries - Claremont, New Hampshire

Zac Kerin, Vice President

“We sell to a lot of Fortune 100 and 500 companies,” said Kerin. “ We sell to a lot of mom and pops as well, which presents a lot of challenges and opportunities in itself.”

But he added that the company’s recent years haven’t been without headwinds. In 2018, tariffs placed upon steel and aluminum presented problems. Other tariffs caused a lot of inflation.

“But we’ve been able to perform better than the average supplier and certainly our direct competitors,” Kerin continued, “so that’s been helpful for us. We’ve been able to see a lot of growth and gain market-share throughout this time period as well.”

NHI is currently working on many projects. Kerin said the company has more than the capacity to fulfill its customers’ needs and meet demand requirements.

This, he added, “will fill up our factory even more.”

Kerin also spoke of NHI’s Mantis Conveyor Products Division––a conveyor component original-equipment manufacturer. It’s a huge market on which to focus, he remarked, citing its North American impact of multiple billions of dollars.

“That’s a newer business unit for us,” he said, “that we really started about six years ago now. We’re seeing exponential growth in that.

“We’ve been able to come out with a lot of unique products that really help the end consumers with the challenges that they face today and will continue to face in the future,” Kerin continued, “so that’s been very successful for us. And it’s been a big focus for everybody here.”


Much innovation

Batten extolled Kerin’s work.

“Zac and his team have done a nice job, too, with the product-development side,” he said, citing patents, patents-pending and trade secrets for NHI. “There’s a lot of innovation going around product design and new products that are going to bring a lot more value to the industry.”

Engineering innovation is a thing at which NHI excels, as Batten observed, and greater automation––more automation projects––nowadays is just one such example.

“We really need to be able to do more with fewer people,” he said, “because they’re just not available.”

New Hampshire Industries - Claremont, New Hampshire

Batten continued that focusing on finding solutions around bottlenecks, regardless of whether it’s robotic or mechanical, is the responsibility of NHI’s internal advanced-technology team. He added that NHI will do whatever it takes to meet its customers’ needs in this and every area.

Kerin concurred, citing the company’s research-and-development team.

“We’ve been able to develop a lot of innovative solutions,” he said, “that are really geared toward the future of material-handling.”

Continuous improvement is another key component to NHI’s success, as Kerin declared.

“Even though we’ve made a lot of advancements for the industry, we’re not just going to stop and say, ‘That’s good enough,’” he said. “We have really aggressive goals to continue to further innovate and develop more patented products every year, all with the intent to help our customers draw more money to their bottom lines and have a more efficient operation themselves.”

Then there’s branding, which Kerin said is very important.

“We’ve been a U.S. manufacturer for 63 years now,” he said, “so a lot of people in our particular industry are familiar with our name.”

NHI’s various brands––such as Mantis, to cite but one example––have become household words around the world, as Kerin noted.

“It’s not just a name,” he said, “I think that brand really speaks to what we’re trying to do in the marketplace. It’s something that people connect with. I think that the team has done a great job with it. We’ll have people stop by our booth at trade shows, for instance, and say, ‘Hey, we don’t use your products. But we just wanted to say that you guys have a really great brand here, and we’re going to remember it.’ That’s what we’re trying to do from a brand perspective.”

Batten spoke of the big picture.

“We’ve been in the mechanical-motion, power-transfer business for a long time,” he said, adding, “We just have to continue to stay ahead of the technological curve and have products that are going to be relevant for the period moving forward.”

Talking of which, citing things to come, Batten said AI (or artificial intelligence) could play a role in the company’s future. In the administrative side of things, for example, this could mean having a computer doing some work of a basic and routine nature, thus freeing up humans to do more creative work in problem-solving and decision-making efforts.

“People are the focus,” said Batten. “Technology is a tool. And better value is the end result.”

This focus was crystalized during a discussion on factory automation and Industry 4.0 and how it will play a part at NHI.

He continued that the company is moving away from traditional, hierarchical thought paradigms, re the decision-making process, moving them to where the work actually takes place.

“We are well into it,” Batten said, “and we have a lot of different focus areas to free up people and teach them how to think scientifically and use specific routines and patterns, so they can make the decisions far more quickly and even better than the senior leaders in most cases.

“Our job is to chart the course for the next three to five years and set the challenges for the team and then let them decide and determine how (to fulfill goals),” he added. “I would say that it’s an empowerment model, with a lot of decision-making and freedom inside of the ‘how’––how we get things done. And people have really responded well.”


More about NHI

Efficient material-handling is critical to a profitable production process.

At NHI, the team provides high-quality, dependable assemblies and components used in everything from forklifts to conveying systems to improve clients’ quality and reduce costs.

NHI collaborates closely with engineering and supply-chain groups to provide the material-handling solutions the company’s clients need. From hydraulic hose-guides and masthead assemblies to CEMA (Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association) rollers, clients bring their parts challenge to NHI for value improvement.

Want to ensure that your production is as profitable and efficient as possible? Join in partnership with NHI. Its involvement in the design process will provide you with components engineered for optimized performance in material-handling equipment, and its product-testing and evaluation processes mean proven solutions. NHI can also help your company save money with its global sourcing capabilities and low-cost assembly operations.

Click The Cover To View Or Download The Brochure

New Hampshire Industries


New Hampshire Industries (or NHI)

Where: Claremont, New Hampshire



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