WARREN, MI – Eckhart Inc., a maker of automated guided vehicles for factories, today held an open house for its new Advanced Technology Center in Warren, MI.
The 47,000 square foot (4366 square meter) complex includes manufacturing space, 3D printers and collaborative robots, or cobots, which can work in close proximity to human operators.
The center is the company’s eighth manufacturing facility in Michigan. It’s Eckhart’s first in the southeastern part of the state, according to its top executive.
Southeast Michigan “is the highest concentration of engineering talent,” said Andrew Storm, Eckhart’s president and CEO. The location, he said, also provides “access to customers, both existing and new customers. We want to plug in to the industrial base.”
Eckhart’s customers include automakers and the center is nearby General Motor Co.’s Technical Center. Eckhart also does business with aircraft maker Boeing Co.
The company moved into the Warren complex in November. It currently employs about 60 people, with plans to expand that to 100 over the next two years.
The open house was held in the showroom area of the center. Storm said the technology center is intended to show “our commitment to Industry 4.0.”
Industry 4.0 is a catchphrase for advanced manufacturing technology, including 3D printing as well as “connected” machines that can be managed with tablet computers and smartphones. Eckhart is embedding micro sensors into its tooling, as part of a project with the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, MA).