Link Mfg., Ltd., a manufacturer of specialty-engineered suspensions for commercial vehicles, will build a new 50,000-square-foot manufacturing and training facility in Sioux Center, IA. Late last month, company officials and local dignitaries broke ground on the project, kicking off a construction process that is expected to be completed in December 2021. The event was held on the site of the new Plant 4 facility, which will be located on Link’s Sioux Center campus, adjacent to and connected with its existing plant 3 building.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter in Link’s 41-year history, made even more economically impactful to our city, state and industry through our recent Hadley acquisition,” said Jim Huls, president of Link Mfg. “The contemporary new space will enable the company to better manage its suspension, suspension control and specialty products business and anticipated growth across new and existing product sectors. And the integrated training facility will help us to provide continuing education to our existing workforce, and educate new staff on the latest in today’s high-tech manufacturing techniques.”
Link is certified to IATF 16949 standards and over the years the company has assembled a world-class testing lab. In addition to its Sioux Center headquarters, Link maintains engineering and manufacturing facilities in Nisku, Alberta, Canada. The company currently employs more than 200 staff members, and the new Plant 4 expansion is expected to result in the hiring of up to 50 more workers.
A Tier-1 supplier to major heavy-duty commercial truck manufacturers, Link originally made a name for itself with the introduction of the Cabmate premium cab suspension in 1980. The Cabmate vastly improved safety and comfort in Class 7 and 8 cabs, and Link became the global leader in cab suspensions, with its 2 millionth Cabmate rolling off the assembly line in 2019.
Link’s newest and most advanced version of its popular Cabmate features Link’s Road-Optimized Innovations (ROI) technology, delivering a new level of ride quality that dynamically responds in real time to road and weather conditions. Link’s ROI Cabmate Cab Suspension is just the first in what is expected to be an entirely new class of suspension control systems, driven in part by the company’s revolutionary ROI technology.
“Link’s recent acquisition of Hadley SmartValve Electronic Height Control Systems, Smart Air Management Systems (SAMS), dynamic air suspension control technology and expert staff significantly expands Link’s capabilities, increases its overall product depth and will stimulate the development of new innovations, while enhancing the company’s electrical engineering and software development capabilities,” Huls said. “Link now moves into the whole-vehicle suspension control segment of the heavy truck market, extending its reach into medium- and heavy-duty truck, tractor, trailer, motorcoach, transit bus, shuttle bus, recreational vehicle and specialty vehicle markets.”
Huls noted that the new space will allow Link to add and reconfigure manufacturing cells to accommodate the company’s new, broader product line. He also explained that the Plant 4 space will help Link as it turns more and more of its attention to engineering and manufacturing suspension control technologies.
“Sioux Center is located near the geographic center of the country and keeps Link within easy reach of major transportation routes and thus the OEMs and secondary markets we serve,” Huls said. “Sioux Center has been good for Link and we believe that Link has been good for Sioux Center. Our roots are here and our town, our company and our customers all benefit from our Northwest Iowa values and work ethic.”
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