The Upstate Company Keeping us ConnectedFebruary 4, 2022
AFL’s products power grid modernization, industry digitization
Home to 2,026 manufacturers and 300+ robotics and automation companies, Upstate South Carolina is where manufacturing & technology intersect.
We boast about our location as the sweet spot where technology companies can find opportunity and partnership by working with the region’s many established manufacturers.
It rings true in another way, too: there’s an Upstate-headquartered company whose advancements are being deployed across the globe, creating product development and manufacturing opportunities within the Upstate.
The company? Spartanburg-headquartered AFL, which has eight Upstate facilities and is one of the region’s largest employers, with 1,300 across the region and growing.
For AFL, the exponential growth in data consumption, which is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025, and investments in 5G, WiFi, and closing the Digital Divide are driving demand for technology – and ramping up the company’s manufacturing activities.
And the AFL engineering team is a patent-generating powerhouse, frequently in the news for their technology patents.
The company’s industry leading products and services enable this transformation through providing the optical infrastructure necessary to enable 5G, high-speed broadband, and cloud computing. All of which are needed to support work-from-home, e-learning and telehealth.
With current digitization and discussion of upgrading America’s communications infrastructure, the company stands on the brink of even more opportunity, as Upstate Business Journal recently reported.
“As there’s a transition from 4G into 5G, and with cloud computing and data center growth all moving to high speed optics, we expect the growth of all of those areas from a global perspective to be significant over the next 10 years,” AFL President & Chief Executive Officer Jody Gallagher says. “By adding a set of key customers, we were able to add strategic relationships; they need us in order for them to be successful and vice versa, so you develop partnerships where they rely on you to service their needs, and then it’s up to businesses like ours to then determine what investments we need to make and where to service some of those needs.”
Simply put: it’s hard to find an industry that AFL doesn’t touch, with their end-to-end optical infrastructure and services that provide connection capabilities — and a touch of the Upstate — across the globe.