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May 18, 2007

For more information please contact:
Muriel Mosher
Tel: 207-623-0680

Above: Images from the May 18, 2007, Maine MEP Manufacturing
Excellence Award ceremony at Flotation Technologies in Biddeford, ME.


Biddeford-Based Manufacturer is Recognized for Best Manufacturing Practices, Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

BIDDEFORD, ME - Flotation Technologies, Inc. is a world leader in the design and manufacture of syntactic foam buoyancy and polyurethane elastomer products. Now the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) is recognizing the company on achieving its world-class manufacturing status.

“We are excited to present Flotation Technologies with the Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award for their superior manufacturing practices that have allowed them to advance in the marketplace,” said Rod Rodrigue, Executive Director of the Maine MEP. “They are most deserving of this award. Their company is dedicated to continuous improvement and are taking all the steps necessary to compete globally."

Flotation Technologies is the world’s largest provider of deepwater buoys for use in climate change research, as well as a key supplier to major offshore oil companies such as Chevron, Shell and Exxon Mobil. They were also chosen to provide the syntactic foam flotation used by James Cameron to film the movie Titanic. Recently, they have received a 4.1 million-dollar contract to provide buoyancy modules for Frontier Drilling.

The Maine MEP recently assisted Flotation Technologies in the development of some new business practices and methods. “The people at Maine MEP helped us identify the need for a workforce development plan and the need for a strategic business plan. Through the workforce development plan, we targeted specific individuals in all areas of the company that would participate in U.S. Department of Labor training in order to help us respond better to customer needs,” said Tim Cook, President of Flotation Technologies.

The Maine MEP’s assessment process lead the company to participate in Time Wise® Lean 101, Lean 201-Value Stream Management and Lean 202-Kaizen training events.

“The Lean training made us realize how many steps we could cut out of various processes, beginning in the front office. We are now putting out twice the number of quotes in the same amount of time and through the value stream map, we have reduced the engineering-to-sales processing cycle by 30 percent,” added Cook. “The Maine MEP’s work with us has made a huge difference. Our sales doubled in 2006 and we are looking to double sales again by the end of this year as well.”

Just last month, the company expanded into a 45,000 square foot facility in the Biddeford Industrial Park. The new facility will allow the installation of state of the art automated production equipment that will allow Flotation Technologies to triple its production capacity. The company currently employs 42, up 14 employees from before the Maine MEP’s assessment, and hopes to have more than 50 employees by the end of 2007.

“The understanding of Lean principles has allowed us to optimize the layout of our new plant,” said Cook. “We have plenty of room for growth and will continue to build on our successes as we move forward.”

The Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award will be presented to Flotation Technologies on May 18 at their 20 Morin Street, Biddeford facility.

The Maine MEP is an affiliate of the NIST under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits, and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information on the Maine MEP program call 1-800-637-4634. For more information on Flotation Technologies, go to