Avtec opening new Lexington County facility

Avtec, Inc., a Lexington County console communications technology company, will open the doors next week to a new facility in Lexington County, doubling its size to keep up with demand, officials announced Thursday.

Avtec, currently located in Gilbert, is a leading manufacturer of high-technology communications consoles. The consoles employ voice-over-internet protocol and are used in manufacturing, transportation, public safety, utility, government and business.

The 46,000-square-foot facility, which is in the town of Lexington, will serve as the company’s new corporate headquarters when it opens Wednesday, the company said. The state-of-the-art facility is twice the size of the company’s previous location in Gilbert.

Michael Branning, son of company founder Troy Branning, succeeded his father as president in 1993.

“We actually have significant contracts captured in multiple marketplaces, including CSX Transportation,” Branning said Thursday. “We have a lot of growth in public safety, in transportation and in utilities in all those markets.”

Founded in 1979 as an engineering consulting business for railroad customers, the company has made a name for itself in console communications. In 2012, Avtec was named one of the fastest-growing companies in South Carolina by Greenville Business Magazine. From 2010 to 2012, the company nearly doubled its revenue, Avtec said, and its staff has grown by about 27 percent, but particularly in the past 18 months.

While the company has transitioned away from a hard manufacturing business to more of a software, services and solution-type entity, it nonetheless has outgrown its current digs in numerous ways, Branning said.

“It really is (about) getting the appropriate work spaces for the types of work we do now,” Branning said. “We really were very limited in our other (Gilbert) facility. In just the last 18 months we’ve added so many people we’ve had to lease space, so the company was split into multiple locations and that was very difficult.”

Avtec, which provides the onsite training for many of the clients who will use their consoles, has outgrown everything from its existing heating and air-conditioning systems to its electrical wiring capabilities and even its location, Branning said.

“We basically outgrew everything that had to do with that facility,” Branning said. “We’re now more accessible to the amenities of Lexington for both employees and guests. We’ve solved a bunch of problems at once.”