How We Make The Gear

Halcyon Production: How We Make The Gear


For some in the dive industry, "making" dive gear is as simple as calling an OEM factory in Asia and selecting your line from a catalog of existing designs. Add a little glue for your logo, set up a shipping and receiving warehouse, and you are in business.

Halcyon operates a little differently.

First and foremost, we are divers who started a company to make gear the way we wanted. That means building a manufacturing facility that keeps as much of the production process under one roof as possible. Steve Pulliam and Nicki Higgenbotham are two of the people who make it happen in the factory. Steve was one of the first people hired to help build Halcyon gear in High Springs. He's the kind of person who has the attention to detail and feel for materials to build competition underhammer muzzleloader rifles from raw steel and wood in his spare time. He started as our lead machinist and has worked his way up to Production Manager. Nicki started out with Halcyon's sewing team and has demonstrated the attention to detail that has allowed her to move up to overseeing Halcyon's receiving department. Steve works with his staff to make sure that Halcyon maintains the strictest possible quality control for every item in the catalog.

The process begins before any materials arrive at the factory. Our product development team constantly evaluates materials to ensure the level of quality that our customers expect. You never know where the best materials will be found—backplates from a US supplier of military and automotive components or materials from the high tech medical, robotics, and aerospace sectors. Everything, from each yard of fabric in a wing down to the bolt snap that goes on a Defender spool, is inspected by the Quality Control (QC) staff before it is entered into inventory.

From QC, materials are either sent to the machine shop or the fabric room. The machine shop takes care of lathe, drill, and welding work. They also build all of the hoses for the hose kits and for the BC systems. Fabric is prepped for welding in our radio frequency (RF) welder. We are one of a select few dive manufacturers who are able to weld all of our own material—the bladders and shells for wings, inflatable signal devices, and lift bags are produced in-house using our own dies. That's why we are able to stand behind our gear with a lifetime warranty on all welded seams. From welding, the seamstresses finish the trim on each inflatable before assembly attaches all overpressure valves and fittings.

From production, everything goes back into quality control. Our QC inspectors fully inflate every bladder for 24 hours to test integrity. Every Explorer, Proteus, and Scout light is pressure tested to 300ft/91m before it is shipped. Only after each item passes this final inspection is it cleared to move into finished inventory to be shipped around the world.

Having our own vertically integrated factory has additional advantages. Halcyon is uniquely equipped to handle requests for special orders. We routinely make gear to spec for the military and public safety dive teams. We have also gone Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera: Halcyon lights have been used to make documentary and feature films around the world, and our gear has been featured in TV shows like Alias and movies like After the Sunset with Pierce Brosnan and Woody Harrelson and Into the Blue with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker.