Due to the rise of product demand and an increased focus on vertical integration, Echo Incorporated announced the purchase of an additional 103,000-square-foot warehouse, 20-acre campus in Lake Zurich, Ill. As the company embarks on its 50th anniversary in 2022, the need for an additional space is one of many historic milestones Echo Inc. will celebrate.
According to Ryan Ladley, Echo’s vice president of operations, production has been very focused on vertical integration, to help lower costs, be more flexible, quickly respond to the rising product demand and grow Echo’s employee skill set. Some examples of how ECHO Inc. has become more vertically integrated include:
• Expanding in-house injection molding capability and capacity (two-shot molding, IR welding, automated insert molding, and automated assembly within the molding cells).
• Assembly automation – ongoing efforts to automate to improve safety, quality and efficiency of the overall operation (including automated packaging of all finished goods including a central palletization system, pick to light quality control systems, and automated assembly systems).
“Vertical integration improves our flexibility to respond quickly to increasing customer demand. It also allows for internal growth of our employees who are obtaining an entirely new skill set,” said Ladley. “We have more automated machinery on site, meaning that we need more technically skilled operators to run the equipment. This has created opportunities for our employees to learn our automated technology. There is nothing more satisfying than helping our people grow professionally as they step up into these more advanced, technical roles.”
Located at 351 Oakwood Rd., Lake Zurich, Ill., this new addition to the campus will support the vertical integration efforts as well as the expanding lineup of products.