Altra Industrial Motion recently celebrated the official opening of its new Innovation Center located in South Beloit, Illinois. The new center brings together various engineering teams from Altra’s Electric Clutch and Brake Division (ECB) into a single, dynamic state-of-the-art area to promote expanded teamwork.
“Previously, our engineering and product management teams were scattered around six different locations at our facility,” explained Dave Ebling, President of Altra’s ECB Division. “We wanted a workspace that would allow spontaneous collaboration with our engineers and also provide them with the quiet space to do the detailed engineering work to improve our existing clutches, brakes and linear actuators as well as develop new products.”
The new 70,000 sq. ft. collaborative open environment includes a model shop with turning centers, milling machines, and CNC lathes. The space also has test, inspection and gage labs featuring three temperature-controlled test cells, a noise attenuation room, a vibration analysis room, an electronics lab, structural and metallurgical analysis, 3D optical scanning, and custom test stand design and build capability. Environmental chambers for salt spray, temperature and humidity, dust, and IP69 high-pressure washdowns are also utilized.
An advanced 3D printer is housed in a specially constructed temperature- and humidity-controlled room in the center. The printer allows engineers to rapidly move from concept through prototyping and on to manufacturing.
The latest equipment has been incorporated for video-conferencing with other Altra teams and customers around the world. Ergonomic powered-workstations have also been installed for increased comfort and productivity.
Carl Christenson, Chairman and CEO of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., was also at the ribbon-cutting event and said, “I’m very excited about the new Innovation Center and the enhanced ability it gives us to develop new products for our customers. It will enable us to pull our engineering departments together, recruit new engineering talent, and have a great place to showcase our extensive capabilities during customer visits.”
Reliable Altra ECB components are used in a very wide range of markets including material handling, packaging machinery, food & beverage, elevator & escalator, turf & garden, agriculture and off-highway, forklift, crane and motion control. Applications include conveyors, lift trucks, wrapping machines, servo motors, combines and balers, baggage handling systems, military vehicles, hoist drives and lawn mowers.