Bobcat Co. and its parent organization, Doosan, recently completed $12 million in renovations at its engineering and factory facilities in Gwinner, N.D. Both projects are part of an ongoing investment to help enhance work environments, accommodate growth, drive innovation and improve operations across the organization.
“We place great value on our employees and our products, and we want to continue to create environments where innovation and forward-thinking are nourished,” said Laura Ness Owens, director of marketing.
Several functional improvements were made to the Gwinner engineering facility to promote a more collaborative work environment: Individual offices have been removed to open up the floor plan and workstation areas; interactive conference rooms and enclaves were added for small- and large-group meetings, and more independent and private work. And advanced technology supports the entire building.
Similar to what has been done at other Bobcat Co. and Doosan facilities, the building is now designed to create more “chance encounters” among employees who might not otherwise work together. Company officials believe chance encounters spark additional collaboration and greater innovation.
Bobcat and Doosan have also added “vitality” elements to promote a health-conscious and energetic atmosphere, which includes standing desks, treadmill work stations and an expanded break room for employee comfort.
At the company’s primary production facility in Gwinner, Bobcat and Doosan have expanded the north assembly and compact excavator production areas, which have been redesigned to help improve factory flow and increase accessibility for employees. The company has also renovated break rooms, increased the number of restrooms in the plant and added dedicated lockers for each shift employee.
In addition, mechanical improvements, such as adding a shot blast system and an orange ColorMax booth, were made to the paint line area. The shot blast system will be used to prep the major weldments before painting occurs, and the ColorMax booth will help evenly spread a weather-resistant, orange finish on the tailgates, which is part of the Bobcat signature trade dress.
Over the last three years, Bobcat Co. and Doosan have been adding and improving locations across the country, which reflects an organizational commitment to continue investing in facilities, people and products. In 2014, Bobcat and Doosan opened the new Acceleration Center in Bismarck, N.D., a facility focused on engineering, R&D, training and product testing. The West Fargo headquarters is currently undergoing a $9.5 million expansion, which is slated for completion in late summer 2016.
“We are committed to creating environments that help us attract and retain talented individuals focused on helping to move our company forward, across all types of facilities, from engineering to production,” said Ness Owens. “We believe what we are doing is cutting-edge for manufacturing companies in the U.S., and we are proud to be out in front as an industry leader.”