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BUSINESS REPORT: Minnesota — SICK Inc. Relocates And Expands Facilities In Minnesota

By Johnathan Sanders
From the May/Jun 2013 issue

SICK Inc., a world leader in manufacturing sensors, safety systems, machine vision, and automatic identification solutions for factory and logistics automation, recently announced a major expansion and relocation of its facilities in Minnesota.

All production and warehousing was relocated to the new Eagle Creek Industrial Park facility in Savage, where the company held a Grand Opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guests included the mayor of Savage and members of the Savage Chamber of Commerce.

Dignitaries from the company’s corporate headquarters in Germany also attended. Employees were recognized for their hard work and contribution to this major expansion.

MINNESOTA FAST FACTS

  • Population (2011 Est.): 5,344,861
  • Largest Cities (2011): Minneapolis, 387,753; St. Paul, 288,448; Rochester, 107,890; Duluth, 86,277
  • Targeted Industries: Manufacturing, Call Centers, Data Centers, Solar Energy, Wind Power, Financial & Insurance Services, Cleantech
  • Key Incentives: Training Grants, MN Investment Fund, Angel Tax Credit, State Small Business Credit Initiative, Data Center Sales Tax Exemptions, Indian Bus. Loan Program, JOBZ, FTZs
  • GDP (All Industry 2011): $281.7 billion*

*Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce

Employees at the new Eagle Creek Operational Center (ECOC) manufacture and distribute SICK industrial automation solutions, which include innovative sensors, safety systems, automatic identification, encoders and machine vision products. The ECOC expansion doubles SICK’s floor space in the Twin Cities, allowing it to better support the wide range of needs of its customers. This is the company’s third expansion since it opened operations in the Twin Cities in 1976.

The new facility has 50,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space. The company moved approximately 100 employees to its new space.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to expand our facilities in North America,” commented Bob Lomicka, SICK senior vice president of operations. “Over the past several years, we have worked hard to exceed our customers’ expectations by developing, manufacturing and delivering high quality products and solutions. As we continue to develop and grow our product portfolio and create more customized solutions, our current space was becoming a challenge.”

“This new facility will allow us to do even more for our customers and position us for continued growth. This expansion builds upon our strategic commitment to have a strong presence in North America with local competencies in both product development and manufacturing,” Lomicka added.

The North American headquarters will remain at its current location in Bloomington. The space opened up in Bloomington by the operations move will be used to expand training, engineering, application and demonstration capabilities.

IRONGATE EXPANDS TWIN CITIES DATA HUBS

IronGate Data Centers is seeing demand for its Twin Cities East Data Center project (pictured above, right) and is announcing plans for a 270,000-square-foot expansion.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, IronGate believes positive demand for data center space in Greater MSP will jump as companies seek a region with fewer natural disasters and an economical operating environment.

“This market is the perfect location for data centers in the U.S.,” said Rory Johnson, president of IronGate Data Centers.

Because of the sensitive nature of data center tenants and their operations, Johnson isn’t disclosing either location of IronGate’s two data centers in the Twin Cities. IronGate’s Twin Cities East Data Center offers independently demised space, exclusive infrastructure, 2N design and capacity of 250 watts per square foot. Johnson already has one tenant for the Twin Cities East Data Center and is seeking others. That tenant is expected to make its announcement next year.

The expansion will be a 270,000-square-foot two-level facility with poured-concrete construction.

“We believe the Greater MSP region is ideal for data center operations, given affordable energy costs, low incidence of natural disasters, and attractive new incentives,” said Michael Langley, CEO of Greater MSP.

The region is among the top ten cheapest in the country for energy use. The climate is such that users of modern compute-technology can utilize free-cooling for nine months out of the year, meaning efficient operations, and there is no sales tax on electricity, infrastructure, hardware and software that’s used for data center purposes.

A Bevy Of Blue-Chip Companies Call The Land Of Lakes Home

Company Name Revenue (position on Fortune 500 list)
UnitedHealth $110 billion (17)
Target $73 billion (36)
Best Buy $45 billion (61)
CHS Inc. $41 billion (69)
Supervalu $36 billion (86)
3M $30 billion (101)
U.S. Bancorp $22 billion (132)
General Mills $17 billion (169)
Medtronic $17 billion (172)
Land O’Lakes $14 billion (194)
Ecolab $12 billion (229)
C.H. Robinson $11 billion (237)
Mosaic $11 billion (246)
Ameriprise $10 billion (236)
Xcel Energy $10 billion (266)
Hormel Foods $8 billion (319)
Thrivent Financial $8 billion (325)
St. Jude Medical $6 billion (457)
Nash-Finch $5 billion (500)

Source: Fortune magazine

 

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