Yaskawa to expand Oak Creek facility

Yaskawa Electric America Inc. has leased an additional 32,000 square feet of space at the Oakwood Crossings Business Center at Howell Avenue and Oakwood Road in Oak Creek, increasing its manufacturing and office space there to 140,000 square feet.

The Oak Creek facility provides virtually all of the company’s manufacturing for customers in North, Central and South America. The company moved to Oak Creek earlier this year from New Berlin.

“It’s space that is needed and we wanted to expand to increase our customer satisfaction and shorten our lead times for customer base,” said Neil Koepke, manager of marketing communications with the company.

The company designs and manufactures industrial control and automation products used by other manufacturers, including drives, motors, robotics and control systems.

Yaskawa Electric America is the U.S. subsidiary of Yaskawa Electric Corp., a Japanese manufacturer with global operations. Yaskawa Electric America is headquartered in Waukegan, Ill., and has facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and California.

Almost all of the expansion space in Oak Creek will be used to increase the facility’s manufacturing capabilities. Yaskawa’s North American managers are now working with the company’s senior managers in Japan to determine which products it will make in the Oak Creek facility, Koepke said.

“We’re taking production that is done in Japan and bringing it here to better support our clients,” he said. “We’re very driven on quality. And we’re finding that our quality is several points better than what we were seeing in Japan.”

Yaskawa now has between 100 and 125 employees in Oak Creek. The company will hire additional workers once it completes its expansion – however it will not know how many new workers it will hire until it determines which product lines it will start making in Oak Creek, Koepke said. Because Yaskawa will introduce several new product lines in September, 2010, the company will need to determine what it is making in Oak Creek by that time, he said.

“We should be operational within the next 12 months,” Koepke said.


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