The Clair audio businesses, divided into two companies 12 years ago, are being reunited in ownership and location.
“We’re thinking as one, and we’re working towards acting as one,” said Kelsey Gingrich, director of engineering, manufacturing and marketing for the combined organization.
“We want to be viewed as Clair — world class in touring, world class in system integration and world class in manufacturing,” Gingrich said Wednesday.
The unification will provide a clear identity to the marketplace while the consolidated locations will lead to operating efficiencies and collaboration, company officials said.
What won’t change is the high level of service and quality “that exceeds expectations,” they emphasized.
The flagship Clair business has long been Clair Global, which manufactures audio equipment that goes into sound systems it designs, assembles and leases to pop, rock and country bands on tour.
It’s the biggest such company in the world, a direct descendent of the company’s origins in 1966, when Lititz brothers Roy and Gene Clair put together a sound system for a Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons concert at Franklin & Marshall College.
Based on Ellen Avenue in Warwick Township, next to live-event business campus Rock Lititz, Clair Global employs 165 people in Lititz. Another 60 here go on tour with bands to run the sound systems.
Manufacturing loudspeakers and supplying sound systems have been Clair Global’s two main activities since Clair Global separated from the businesses known as Clair Brothers Audio Systems.
Clair Brothers Audio Systems consists of Clair Solutions, which provides system integration, and Clair Brothers, which manufactures and sells loudspeakers.
(System integration means designing and installing sound, lighting and video systems for houses of worship, theaters, cruise ships, stadiums and the like.)
Clair Brothers Audio Systems employs 90 people at South Oak Street and Clair Boulevard in Manheim.
The corporate structure changed Aug. 1, when Clair Global and Clair Brothers Audio Systems’ owner CBAS formed a joint venture.
The joint venture became the owner of Clair Solutions, Clair Brothers and Clair Global’s audio-equipment manufacturing business.
Gingrich declined to say how big a stake each joint venture participant owns.
Due to the new ownership, Clair Solutions and Clair Brothers are moving from Manheim back to Lititz.
They’ll go in some combination of the 123,000-square-foot Clair Global headquarters and a proposed 113,000-square-foot building in Rock Lititz, Gingrich said.
The new building is likely to be finished in 2021; that’s when the relocation from Manheim would occur.
In addition, a soundproof 7,000-square-foot portion of an addition proposed to the Rock Lititz Studio rehearsal building on the campus would be used to test and demonstrate Clair loudspeakers, he said.
The Clair Brothers Audio Systems location in Manheim — totaling 100,000 square feet — is for sale. The company leases the site from a Clair family entity.
For the foreseeable future, Gingrich said, the brand names will remain in use.
“There will still be Clair Global, Clair Solutions, Clair Brothers. But we’re working towards one Clair,” he said.
The blending of the companies is the priority.
“We’re not even focused on there being a separate joint venture,” said Claire Messimer, communications manager.
“Now we’re trying to share resources, share best practices,” Gingrich said. “Some people will be spending time in both locations. Some products that were traditionally built in Lititz might be built in Manheim, and vice versa” (until the Manheim operation relocates).