Grand Rapids, Michigan.—Hutchinson opened its first North American technical centre at its Grand Rapids facility on 20 Jan.
Named “616 Fab House,” the facility occupies 13,400 square feet on the third floor of its 30-acre campus and is dedicated to research, development and innovative thinking for all five Huntchinson divisions.
The firm said there is about 10,000 square feet of unused space on the third floor for future expansion to the centre if needed.
The Grand Rapids campus consists of 260,000 square feet spread over six interconnected buildings with about 300 employees.
The only other innovation centre Hutchinson operates is “507 Fab House,” located in Montargis, France, near the firm’s world headquarters in Paris. Hutchinson said it chose Grand Rapids for its central location to major clients and vendors and its 30-year history with the location. The city was the firm’s first location in the U.S.
The Grand Rapids facility focuses on developing, engineering and manufacturing noise, vibration and harshness systems for the automotive industry.
“It is our intent to use the 616 Fab House as a place to connect using our state-of-the-art video and audio conferencing systems to bring customers together with Hutchinson’s global capabilities,” Cedric Duclos, Hutchinson North America president and CEO, said in a statement. “Additionally, we aim to use this space to foster innovative thinking and brainstorming.”
The unit includes a mix of meeting rooms, videoconferencing technology, product and robotic displays, and banquet facilities. It is equipped with an interactive product showroom, process and robotics interactive showroom, fabrication lab and 3D printer centre.