Robot maker Fanuc plans $51 million facility in Mich.


Fanuc America aims to have 300 workers at the facility eventually. Photo credit: General Development Do.

Fanuc America Corp., a subsidiary of Japan’s Fanuc Corp. and a major supplier of automotive assembly robots, is planning to pour $ 51 million into a new high-tech robotics operation near its North American headquarters in suburban Detroit.

“This land is located right across the Clinton River … so it really creates a campus atmosphere with our headquarters,” Joe Cvengros, general manager of operations, told Automotive News. “And this will help us to consolidate and create room that will help us as we grow and meet the demands of the automation industry here in North America.”

The company will consolidate and expand operations from other locations in metro Detroit to the new facility.

General Development Co., which owns the nearly 25-acre property on which it will construct the 461,000-square-foot complex, and Fanuc America on Wednesday finalized an agreement for the developers to build the operation and sell the building and property to the robotics company, Gary Weisman, co-owner of General Development, said. He declined to discuss financial details.

Fanuc America aims to have 300 workers at the facility eventually, Weisman said.

“We understand how important it is, especially in the automotive industry, to keep production at full capacity and running, so we want to make sure … there’s also world-class support,” Cvengros said. “It’s very important for us to have all the inventory and parts and warehousing and people to service and support our customers, especially the automotive customers in this area.”

The complex will be used for robotics staging and light assembly for the company, which also delivers machine shop control systems and factory automation. It supplies various industries, including automotive, aerospace, food, consumer goods and medical.

Construction is expected to start in the next couple of weeks, with completion set for fall 2019. General Development is handling the contract and design work, Weisman said.

The project is receiving a $ 1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for creation of 100 jobs, according to the news release. It is also receiving a $ 3.5 million property tax abatement from Auburn Hills.

The building will be roughly the size of four large big-box department stores, and it will become the third-largest industrial building in Auburn Hills, behind FCA US LLC’s and ABB’s North American robotics headquarters, the city said in a release.

Fanuc employs more than 1,400 people in North and South America. Its parent company generated revenue of about $ 4.8 billion in 2017.

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