RAVENNA, Ohio—Parker Hannifin Corp. opened its Donald E. Washkewicz Polymer Innovation Center on Oct. 2, celebrating the 24,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Parflex Division's headquarters in Ravenna.
The center, named for Washkewicz—the division's first general manager and current chairman, CEO and president of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin—represents a $15 million investment from Parker with $2.3 million coming from Ohio's Third Frontier Research and Development Center Program.
Parflex Division will utilize the Polymer Innovation Center to create, test and prove new materials, innovations and products for use across the various industries Parker serves. It will focus the division's research and development capabilities for all seven of its manufacturing facilities into one location.
Parker projects to create 34 high technology and engineering jobs through the center. The Parflex facility currently employs about 315.
“The polymer center is a multi-faceted facility that is chartered with developing new products, new materials and new processes,” said Bill Fisher, Parflex Division's product engineering manager. “It is functioning on our core products to enhance them, to make them relevant and to revitalize them. We run a myriad of polymers.”
The Parflex Division designs and manufacturers thermoplastic and fluoropolymer hose, tubing and accessories for application in the transportation, oil and gas, life science/medical, military, construction, and marine industries.
In addition to the Ravenna location, Parflex operates three manufacturing facilities in Texas—Fort Worth, Stafford and Freeport—as well as in Manitowoc, Wisc.; Randleman, N.C.; and Monterrey, Mexico.
The division's headquarters in Ravenna houses most of the staff and support functions for the group. Its manufacturing arm produces primarily high pressure hydraulic hose and tubing along with specialty products used in the chemical process industry, such as its multi-tube product line.
Parflex is part of Parker's Fluid Connectors Group, which consists of 14 divisions—six in North America—and 56 manufacturing facilities worldwide.