Ariens Co. will invest more than $9 million to upgrade and expand the current product development facility at its Brillion, Wis., headquarters. The new Ariens Company Design and Development Center will be constructed in three phases over the next 3 years. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility is expected to be complete by fall 2018.
“New products have been the lifeblood of our growth strategy, especially in the last several years,” says Dan Ariens, chair and CEO. “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.”
When complete, the center will consist of a new engineering and technical center; industrial design studio; model shop and prototyping lab; and a complete state-of-the-art 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 Sno-Thro machines, mowing equipment and outdoor chore products 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,” says Ariens. “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 Co. will also enhance its in-field product testing programs with the addition of a dedicated test and development site located in Sebring, Fla. This new facility, along with current field testing capabilities in Wisconsin, allows 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 this 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.
“We have been increasing employment in the product development area for the last three years,” says Ariens. “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 to Northeast Wisconsin.”
Commitment to the Design and Development Center ensures that Ariens Co. will continue to offer the right products at the right time to existing and prospective customers, according to Ariens. Recently introduced products have included Sno-Thro machines with auto-turn technology; the Ariens IKON-X and Gravely XL zero-turn mowers; the Atlas JSV utility vehicle designed in conjunction with Polaris Industries; and new chore products such as power brushes for homeowner and commercial use.