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Nova Comm To Double Its Plant’s Dimensions

Expansion to provide space needed to develop new high-speed scanner


November 29, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Bulletproof security-door manufacturer Nova Comm Inc. will double its dimensions next month when it takes over a 6,500-square-foot building adjoining its existing 6,500-square-foot plant in the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co.-owned Trujillo Alto Industrial Park.

The new building will provide the space needed to manufacture a new security device–a high-speed scanner–that scans a person in three seconds. Existing security-door scanners take at least six seconds.

"This will be excellent for airports and massive events where thousands of people need to be scanned quickly," Nova Comm founder & CEO Bill Diaz said, adding the design is very different from the door units.

Another aspect of Nova Comm that will be growing is its service roster, when it begins offering security consultation. General Manger Plinio Rodriguez, who has 23 years experience in the security business, will be instrumental in this initiative. He said Nova Comm’s will specialize in bank consulting but can design security for any company. Diaz designed his first security doors using Rodriguez’ specifications for halting bank holdups.

Nova Comm has also opened a Florida office to expand its stateside market. Manuel Urbina will head the Orlando-based sales operations, training sales & installation personnel from various mainland vendors who distribute Nova Comm security doors. Ohio-based bank security equipment manufacturer Diebold Inc. is in charge of most stateside sales and installations.

Diaz said the economic slowdown has triggered a 300% increase in bank robberies in Florida and North Carolina during the past three years. He added that the situation is similar to what Puerto Rico experienced between 1991 and 1992, when 128 bank robberies were committed.

Nova Comm–which exports 70% of its production–anticipates doubling sales to $3 million and employees from 11 to more than 20 in 2002.

Since Nova Comm’s founding in 1995, 250 security doors have been installed mostly in banks and coops. Of these, 133 have been exported to the U.S. mainland, Toronto, Guatemala, and the British Virgin Islands. Nova Comm manufactures two security doors per week, which retail between $35,000 and $45,000 each. The price varies according to the glass’ bullet resistance–the maximum being for a 45-caliber pistol. The company promises delivery within six weeks.

"Banks order units in a rush, especially after a robbery because often employees are so frightened they don’t want to go back to their jobs," Rodriguez said.

Nova Comm doors are a double set of bulletproof glass doors which only one person can enter. The second door will not open until the first has closed so there is no way a bank robber can escape. Rodriguez said that gunmen who try to shoot their way out are usually hurt by their own bullets’ backfire.

"We have acquired a reputation for selling quality products," Diaz said, adding that their first client was Mellon Bank in Philadelphia, which bought directly from them. "They took the risk and still buy from us. But others we approached didn’t even know where Puerto Rico was."

Diaz said that both the police and the FBI "are fans of our doors because normally, when they catch a bank thief they clarify from 10 to 12 robberies." Most bank robbers commit that number of holdups before being caught.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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