Hayward Industries has launched a commercial division.

Called Hayward Commercial Pool Products, the new entity draws on technologies from a variety of Hayward divisions.

This represents a significant move for the Elizabeth, N.J.-based manufacturer.

“It’s a natural adjacency for us to look at the commercial space for two reasons,” said Stuart Baker, Hayward’s vice president of business development. “First, because we had acquired some companies that were operational in that space. And, secondly, it gives us extra diversity and sales growth opportunity within our core market.”

With an estimated 450,000 commercial pools in play and 8,000 to 10,000 new vessels built each year, the new division could help Hayward expand into another sector, as the residential market suffers a disastrous slowdown.

“[As a result of the economy], our customers are diversifying in aftermarket, remodeling and into the commercial space,” Baker said. “We want to be able to support our customers and grow with them.”

Hayward officials hope to gain 30 percent of the market in three years.

The new division is headquartered in Rockville, Md., at the former offices of CAT Controllers, which Hayward acquired in late 2008. Patrick Sweeney, CAT founder and former president, will serve as general manager.

Hayward Commercial Pool Products will focus on the HMAC market — hotel, motel, apartment and condominium pools — also called Class-B commercial pools. Hayward estimates that HMAC pools represent approximately 70 percent of nonresidential installations, but only about 30 percent of the dollar volume generated in the total commercial market.

Despite the HMAC focus, some of the company’s controllers and valves also are suitable for larger commercial applications. Additional products for large-scale commercial pools may come under the Hayward name in the future, but for now, HMAC will be the primary focus.

“We have to prove ourselves in the semicommercial market first,” Baker said. “But it’s certainly a possibility that we’ll look to widen our product offering in the medium- to longer term.”