Infrastructure investment: Renovation, Expansion, and site relocation
The last calendar quarter of 2015 has been busier than normal for two Gooch & Housego sites, with G&H (Palo Alto) relocating across San Francisco Bay to Fremont and G&H (Ohio) beginning a multimillion dollar upgrade program. Both projects are part of an initiative designed to increase manufacturing capacity and support our Lean manufacturing program.
G&H (Palo Alto), our US base for acousto-optic R&D, design and device manufacture, outgrew the Palo Alto site, its home of more than thirty years. The new facility in Fremont is 50% larger than the former site which it finally vacated in December. Key gains are:
- Additional space to accommodate existing and new customer growth, as well as assimilation of part of the recently closed Melbourne, FL facility
- Room for expansion of G&H’s applied R&D capacity in the US patterned after our UK-based Systems Technology Group (STG). Co-location will enable us to offer our customers more systems integration development capabilities.
- Replacement and upgrade of virtually all manufacturing support and delivery systems.
- Leveraging our skilled workforce in a new, more efficient building.
The Cleveland project entered the construction phase in September 2015. Overall, the investment will benefit the entire facility and take the better part of a year to complete. The new layout was prepared with an eye to improving process flow and product quality (using Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement techniques), as well as increasing capacity, especially in bottleneck areas. The three phase investment will deliver:
- Phase 1: A Class 1000 clean room assembly area with increased capacity and improved environmental controls. In addition, a new customer meeting room, and renovated management and administration office area.
- Phase 2: An expansion of the space given over to fabrication, finishing and coating allowing for an overall increase in both capability and capacity.
- Phase 3: An improved engineering laboratory along with better situated maintenance and Machine Shop locations.
This major commitment of resources represents a transformation of our Cleveland facility. Capacity will be increased by nearly 30%, product flow will see a 50% reduction in material and component travel. We will also have a focused Engineering and R&D lab able to meet the development needs of our current and future customers.
These major investments in the company’s infrastructure will permit G&H to have two model 21st century photonic engineering research and production sites, producing the most advanced acousto-optic, electro-optic and crystal based precision optic products manufactured using efficient modern Lean manufacturing methodologies. These are benefits we will be able to pass on to our OEM customers in the form of shorter lead times, higher quality, and increased on time delivery.