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Hutchinson opens first tech center in North America

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hutchinson opened its first North American technical center at its Grand Rapids facility on Jan. 20.

Named “616 Fab House,” the center occupies 13,400 square feet on the third floor of its 30-acre campus and is dedicated to research, development and innovative thinking for all five Hutchinson divisions.

The firm said there is about 10,000 square feet of unused space on the third floor for future expansion to the center if needed.

The Grand Rapids campus consists of 260,000 square feet spread over six interconnected buildings with about 300 employees. It focuses on developing, engineering and manufacturing noise, vibration and harshness systems for the automotive industry.

The facility includes a mix of meeting rooms, videoconferencing technology, product and robotic displays, and banquet facilities. It is equipped with an interactive product showroom, process and robotics interactive showroom, fabrication lab and 3D printer center, interactive lightboards, telepresence center, training and conference center, board room, breakout and lounge seating, and a reception kitchen.

Wacker Silicones increases capacity at German facility

BURGHAUSEN, Germany—Munich-based Wacker Group has announced a $28.4 million expansion of functional silicone fluid capacity at its Wacker Silicones facility in Burghausen.

The new expansion came online in early January of 2016, according to a Wacker news release. It increases the Burghausen plant's total production capacity by about 70 percent, the company said.

Rising global demand for specialty silicone fluids and emulsions in the construction, coating, paper, cosmetics and personal care industries drove the decision to expand capacity in Burghausen, according to Wacker.

The expansion at Burghausen is a good example of this strategy, the firm said.