Fanuc Robotics, after record sales last year, has undergone some major changes this year.
Many of its plants in the Western Hemisphere have outgrown their space and the chairman and chief executive officer of the North American division retired. Fanuc Robotics North America's headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich., added 102,000 square feet Sept. 10 for a technology center.
``This serves as a nice showcase for our robots and systems,'' Lee Ann Welsh, spokeswoman for Fanuc Robotics North America, said recently by telephone. ``We can do demonstrations for our customers there instead of on the [plant] floor. It also has an auditorium, which seats 150, and meeting and conference rooms.''
The $12 million investment increased the plant's space 40 percent. The 370,000-square-foot plant employs 757.
Fanuc Robotics' West Chicago, Ill., facility relocated to Hoffman Estates, Ill., in September. The 176,000-square-foot plant also houses Fanuc America, a division providing service and parts for computer numerically controlled machines shipped from Japan.
The firm's operations in Ohio expanded into a leased, 40,000-square-foot plant in Mason, Ohio. The move from 18,000 square feet in Cincinnati was prompted by growth throughout the company. That facility employs about 35.
In addition, Fanuc Robotics plans to open a new plant in the Northeast within the next year.
``We are penetrating new markets,'' Welsh said. ``About 50 percent of our business is automotive and 50 percent is nonautomotive, such as food and beverage, plastics, electronics and packaging.''
On Sept. 24, Fanuc Robotics Canada Ltd. moved into a leased, 50,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. The new headquarters for Canadian operations employs 70.
``Steady growth throughout the company has prompted our move to a larger facility,'' Peter Fitzgerald, general manager of Fanuc Robotics Canada, said in a news release.
Fanuc Robotics Mexico SA de CV opened a leased, 24,000-square-foot plant in Aguascalientes in May. About 30 are employed there; most came from the company's Mexico City plant.
``This enhances our presence in Mexico, especially in the automotive market,'' Welsh said.
In June, Fanuc Robotics Latin America moved from a 960-square-foot plant to a 10,000-square-foot plant in SÃo Paulo, Brazil.
Fanuc Robotics North America reported record sales last year of $370 million. The firm operates 11 plants, employs 1,100 and serves more than 2,000 customers throughout North America.
Founded in 1982 as a joint venture between Fanuc Ltd. and General Motors Corp., the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Fanuc Ltd. of Oshinomura, Japan, in 1992.