Eaton Unveils Development, Testing, Training Center

Feb. 13, 2013
Building Designed to Fulfill Reliability, Efficiency and Safety Mission
Grand MomentZari Talebi, global branding and integrated communications manager, demonstrates multimedia displays and exhibits during the grand opening of Eaton's Innovation Center.

How many jobs can one building handle? For Eaton's newly opened, 100,000 ft2 Innovation Center in Menomonee Falls, Wis., it's pretty unlimited.

After close to a century in downtown Milwaukee, including almost 50 years at its 27th Street facility, Eaton formally opened its new facility last month with a ribbon-cutting and tours of its many capabilities. Designed to fulfill Eaton's three-part mission of reliability, efficiency and safety, the multi-purpose center includes product development areas to help industrialize and commercialize new solutions, eight main testing labs, training and product demonstration facilities, and facilities for engineering, production, marketing, accounting and other teams to gather and collaborate. The labs include Integrated Facilities Switchboard (IFS) gear development, modeling, reliability, shock and vibration, regenerative feedback, industrial tools, solar components and a highly accelerated life test (HALT) chamber.

The new Menomonee Falls facility opens on the heels of Eaton's  acquisition of Cooper Industries in December. Eaton is now a $16.3 billion company based on 2012 sales, with approximately 103,000 employees worldwide. 

"We now have some of the airiest and best-lit labs anywhere, and so we'll be looking for more big things to come from our 2,000 staff members in southeast Wisconsin, and with this site we can really see how they will be done," said Sandy Cutler, Eaton's chairman and CEO.

Chris Roche, Eaton's vice president of research and technology, added, "Our new innovation center and the 70 engineers here are at the intersection of all our businesses for developing and bringing solid-state power management, control and protection technologies to our customers." 

The center has applied for LEED Silver certification, thanks in part to a 50 kW, roof-mounted solar array, electric vehicle charging stations, Power Command lighting system, and its own IFS equipment.