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ASA, Audiovox Specialized Applications LLC is building a $2 million R&D facility in Elkhart, Ind., for on-site product durability testing and to shorten product development time through new rapid prototyping technology, the company announced.
ASA develops, manufactures and distributes video and audio electronic products to the RV, van conversion, marine and commercial vehicle markets. Its major product categories include flat panel LCD entertainment systems, vehicle observation systems and marine and automotive audio systems for the
Ground was broken recently for the new 73,000-square-foot facility which will be on 10 acres between Cooper Drive and Marina Drive in Elkhart. ASA’s present headquarters fronts on Cooper Drive and the new facility will front on Marina.
The new facility should be ready for occupancy by October. Completion of the new addition will give ASA a total of 140,000 square feet of space in Elkhart.
“Our operations presently are scattered in four different buildings on our complex,” said Tom Irions, ASA’s CEO. “This new facility will allow us to move everything under one roof. We will experience tremendous efficiencies by moving into this modern facility. We’re upgrading our research and development department substantially and increasing our automotive and marine testing capabilities.”
Founded in 1977, ASA seeks “to form alliances with our customers that allow us to participate in the planning and design of their new products,” said Brent Barrow, president and COO. “Our expanded R&D department will make us even more responsive.”
The $2 million investment will include $600,000 worth of new testing equipment and computers for its testing lab. ASA also will purchase new software and state-of-the-art materials handling equipment. A rapid prototype machine will enhance the company’s ability to shorten development time and quickly create customer samples. Other new equipment will test a product’s ability to stand up to salt air, humidity, temperature extremes and long-term ultraviolet exposure.
Irions said increased business from the commercial, boating and RV industries, which are continually adding more electronics in their products, is fueling part of ASA’s growth. Last year, ASA acquired the marketing rights for the Jensen brand name. During 2004, the company plans to introduce several new product categories that will carry that name.
The new facility also will enhance ASA’s warehousing capabilities, as well as giving it additional room for its assembly and packaging work.
ASA designs, manufactures and distributes family entertainment systems and video observation systems to the RV, van conversion, marine and commercial vehicle industries under the brand names Jensen, Audiovox, Flexvision, Voyager and AquaTronics.