Founded in 1923, Aerofin is a leading manufacturer of spiral fin and plate-fin heat exchanger coils and related heat transfer equipment; serving a variety of industries including nuclear power generation, pulp and paper, automotive, and HVAC. Aerofin’s home office and manufacturing plant has been located in LYH since 1966 with a facility size of over 165,000 sq. ft.
We talked with Aerofin’s President, Jeff Spaeth, to learn more about the company, its history, and what’s ahead. Jeff has been with the company for 8 years, with the last 6 of them serving as the President. With a Mechanical Engineering degree from Virginia Tech and a Masters in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary, this role is well-suited for him. Read our conversation below!
What has the last year held, and what are some major accomplishments?
In the last year, we increased employment by about 85%. This has allowed us to keep our lead times low, which in turn brings in more business. It’s really hard to pick just one major accomplishment since we ship all over the world in a variety of applications including hospitals, universities, pharmaceuticals, refineries, and power plants. Regionally, we have our coils at Liberty University, Randolph College, Virginia Baptist Hospital, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Westrock, Glad, Celanese, Arkema, Merck, MillerCoors, Greif, Buffalo Air Handling, and Abbott Laboratories.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I love the most is solving people’s (company’s) problems. Companies come to us because they value our expertise in the market. Because we do all the design work and manufacturing ourselves, we get to see the projects from start to finish; even going out to the field sometimes to see the installations. It’s really awesome to start with a blank piece of paper at the beginning of a project to then seeing the product built in a few weeks.
Why is it important that Aerofin is headquartered in Lynchburg?
Lynchburg is great for several reasons. We moved here in 1966 and have had several expansions during that time. We do a fair amount of work in Nuclear Power Plants which includes some projects with both Framatome and BWXT. Being in Lynchburg also allows us to hire great people; the people in this area are not only hard-working, but very genuine which I think is really important. There is a lot of great engineering and metal fabrication talent in the area which also helps add to our workforce.
How has the company transformed in the last 100 years, and what products are you most proud of?
When the company started, we focused on a spiral wound finned tube design. While that remains a core product of what we produce, the biggest change we made in the past was bringing on a plate fin design. We are constantly evaluating new markets and products to bring to the market. We have brought on new products in the past such as our Aeromix ®, Split-Fit ®, and Integral Reheat coils – which were the result of solving customers’ designs. I am especially proud of our Split-Fit® coil; it is especially unique, beginning as a commercial application and has since been certified (and installed) in nuclear power plants.
Manufacturing Jobs in the City of Lynchburg Quick Facts
- Manufacturing is the third largest industry sector in the City of Lynchburg, employing more than 6,000 people. Coil manufacturing has almost 50% more jobs in Lynchburg when compared to the National Average.
- Average annual manufacturing wages are higher than the median wage, around $60,000!
- There are around 250 current manufacturing job openings advertised in the Lynchburg area. Check out our Jobs Portal to see who’s hiring.
Congratulations, Aerofin, on 100 years! What an incredible achievement. We’re proud to have you in LYH!
To read more about Aerofin and their success over the past 100 years, visit https://www.aerofin.com/.