Aisin opens new North American tech center, will add engineers

  • 23-Jul-2014 01:57 EDT
Kato-san and Demo Car.jpg

ATCA President Yoshiaki Kato stands next to the Aisin 'demo car', showcasing many of the tier one supplier's components, inside Aisin's new Michigan facility.

A tier one supplier’s product development activities get an efficiency boost with a larger facility that puts the headquarters for Aisin World Corp. of America and Aisin Technical Center of America under one roof.

Aisin’s recent $13 million facility and equipment investment will enable technical specialists at the world’s fifth largest tier one supplier of automotive components and systems to handle a larger share of design duties for the U.S. market.

“We’re going to do next-generation technology development here,” Yoshiaki Kato, President of the Aisin Technical Center of America (ATCA), told SAE Magazines prior to a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 14 for the new headquarters of Aisin World Corp. of America (AWA) and ATCA.

Aisin’s U.S. tech center engineering teams work with automotive customers on various tasks, ranging from product specification development and three-dimensional modeling/analysis to vehicle calibration confirmation, and production launch support. According to Kato, many of the technical specialists assigned to the newly renovated Northville Township, MI facility will work on powertrain and driveline technologies that will help automakers meet the U.S. government’s 2025 mandate for a 54.5-mpg vehicle fleet average.

At close to 200,000-ft2 (18,580-m2), the new facility nearly doubles the space of the company's previous tech center in nearby Plymouth, which housed activities in two buildings. It marks the first time Aisin has had an in-house engine dynamometer in the U.S.

“Our responsibilities and capabilities are now expanding and improving,” Kato said, pointing out that the previous site did not have an engine dynamometer so certain testing and validation work was done at Aisin’s tech centers in Japan, or outsourced to third party providers in the U.S.

The supplier of body, brake, chassis, drivetrain, engine, transmission, navigation, electronics, and information-related components and systems expects to hire 51 engineers and technical specialists in the coming months. Said Harry Torimoto, Vice President of Operations Management at ATCA, “To evolve something designed and developed here in the U.S. it will take not just quantity, it will also require quality engineers.”

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