Fabricated plastic parts manufacturer Harva Co. Inc. is more than a survivor.
In January 1996, an early thaw caused a nearby creek to flood its banks and shut down the Schoharie, N.Y., manufacturing plant.
``We had as much as 26 inches of water in the plant,'' said President Susan K. McGiver. ``We actually stopped dead for a full seven working days.''
The company responded by renovating and expanding its manufacturing and administrative facilities. The project doubled its production capacity.
``That's why our numbers [for sales] look like they will be our best year ever,'' she said.
McGiver said sales are up more than 20 percent this year — the company expects 1998 sales to exceed $3 million.
Harva, which was founded in 1949, does thermoforming, precision machining, assembly, silk-screening, die cutting and stamping. Its customers include Eastman Kodak Co., IBM and Pitney Bowes.
The change was spurred by the flooding. Because Schoharie County was declared a disaster area, Harva was able to obtain a $500,000 loan from the Small Business Administration. It also invested more than $130,000 of its own money.
The original company is housed in a former carriage barn that is more than 200 years old. Harva maintained the building's unique character while doubling its manufacturing area to 31,000 square feet in 1986.
The latest change moves the administrative offices to the second floor, adding 2,880 square feet of office space. It also gives Harva an additional 1,600 square feet, doubling assembly space, expanding the control center and adding to the machining area.
The company rebuilt some of its equipment and added new equipment as well.
Among the improvements are a new machining center, a second reciprocating compressor and a special electronic height gauge in the inspection department. The assembly area has been revamped to handle cell manufacturing.
``We are a job shop. We manufacture parts which are unique to each company we serve,'' McGiver said. ``Everything is different, so we may make as many as 100 different parts each day.''
One unique aspect of the expansion was the addition of a equipped workout area for employees on the second floor.
The company employs 47, and the average tenure of a Harva employee is more than 12 years, she said.
``Our programs for employees are among the top reasons for our continued success,'' she said.