Taking a serve-and-volley approach to expansion, equipment maker Sterling Inc. has purchased an indoor tennis club next to its headquarters in Milwaukee.
Sterling makes temperature controllers and chillers in Milwaukee. The firm is converting the 30,000-square-foot tennis building into a manufacturing center that will house its remanufacturing and machining operations. Roger Lange, the firm's general manager, said Sterling's existing headquarters is 67,000 square feet.
Indoor tennis players hate it when their lobs bounce off the roof — a fact that Lange said makes the building a good place to build equipment.
``It's a nice open space with a very high ceiling,'' Lange said.
The added space also will allow Sterling to stock a larger inventory of temperature-control units and replacement parts, and cut delivery time, said Pat Klingberg, marketing manager.
Lange said Sterling is investing more than $600,000 in the expansion. The firm employs 160 in Milwaukee, and plans to add 10.
Sterling builds many of its components in-house. The company claims to be the only temperature controller producer to make its own pumps and valves.
Crews began moving equipment and inventory into the former tennis club in mid-September. The building should be completed by Nov. 1.
Sterling has two other manufacturing facilities: Wood Dale, Ill., which makes cooling towers, automation systems and central coolers; and a granulator assembly plant in North Uxbridge, Mass.