Ariens Company says it is spending $9 million to upgrade and expand the company’s product development center.
Work on the 45,000-square-foot facility will be done in three phases and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018, the company said Tuesday.
The plant will consist of a new engineering and technical center, industrial design studio, model shop and prototyping lab and a validation and testing center. It will become the company’s hub for research and product development, testing and product validation of outdoor power equipment, including snow throwers and mowing equipment for both consumer and professional use under the Ariens and Gravely brands.
"The new center will allow for 24/7 test capabilities, as well as off-season product testing, a significant enhancement for the testing of seasonal equipment," said Dan Ariens, chairman and chief executive officer. "The ability to perform more frequent system and sub-system testing, and new product validation, along with improved work flow, will also contribute to improved products and faster speed to market."
Ariens also will enhance its in-field product testing programs with the addition of a dedicated test and development site located in Sebring, Fla. The new facility, along with current field testing capabilities in Wisconsin, will allow technicians to validate new ideas and concepts in an outdoor setting prior to launch.
Although no additional jobs will be added as a direct result of the expansion, the need for the new center is due, in part, to consistent growth in the area of product development, engineering, testing and industrial design, according to Ariens.
"New products have been the lifeblood of our growth strategy, especially in the last several years. Customers have embraced our recent product introductions and we are responding with an expansion that will allow us to bring new products and new technologies to market even faster," Ariens said.
"We have been increasing employment in the product development area for the last three years," he said. "We made sure this new addition will not only accommodate further expansion, but will also serve as a state-of-the-art work environment that will attract additional technical and engineering talent."