Henniges Automotive, global supplier of highly engineered sealing and anti-vibration systems, announced it will open a new Technical and Innovation Center in the Czech Republic next year to strengthen its development and research competence in the region.
The 22,927-square-foot (2,130-square-meter) facility in Mladá Boleslav will be used to support all new projects and innovation programs in Europe and globally. Henniges says the new facility is in an advantageous location near the company’s other manufacturing plants and key European customers. The new location will feature state-of-the-art development and testing facilities, capable of 3-D rapid prototyping and laser scanning, climatic testing and simulation, to ensure the center is prepared to adapt to future customer and industry demands.
“The new Technical and Innovation Center will reflect Henniges’ research and development competence and extensive technical expertise,” said Larry Williams, president of Henniges Automotive. “The resources and access of this facility will enable us to remain at the forefront of anti-vibration, vehicle sealing and glass encapsulation technologies while keeping our commitment to offering innovative new solutions to customers.”
With its base in the center of the Czech Republic, the Technical and Innovation Center will link its R&D capabilities and test programs with other nearby Henniges facilities to improve synergies in product design processes, validation and marketing. It also will allow Henniges to strengthen its customer relationships with European car manufacturers.
In addition, this campus will benefit from the area’s long engineering history to draw top talent and well-qualified specialists to work at the facility. Sixteen employees are currently slated to work at the facility, which is set to open in the spring of 2019. The company says hiring double in the near future. Eventually, the facility will house nearly 75 employees, including product experts and business unit managers.
To create the new center, which will become the company’s European headquarters, Henniges is using part of a $1.8 million state investment incentive, which it received from the Czech Government through its Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Operational Program “Enterprise and Innovations for Competitiveness.” Based on a business plan that was submitted, the government awarded Henniges its first state incentive due to the associated innovation and social benefits the company’s investment would bring to the area. Henniges is investing $3.6 million in test and laboratory equipment.
Of the total state incentive, $600,000 is being used to expand the development and testing equipment at the new facility. The remainder is funding the building of a global competence center at Henniges’ production plant in nearby Hranice. This competence center will be used for advanced extrusion processes, such as the development of plastic materials for rubber sealing.
“We are thankful to receive this generous incentive by the Czech government, and pleased that the recognition validates our dedication to pursuing new and commercially interesting products,” said Williams. “We look forward to expanding our presence in the region and further contributing to the area’s innovation culture and high-tech workforce.”
In addition to the new Technical and Innovation Center in the Czech Republic, Henniges says it has plans for further expansions in 2019, including a new manufacturing plant in South America.