GRANITEVILLE — Tognum America’s entire manufacturing operation and research and development efforts are now centered in Aiken County, after the unveiling of a new $40 million facility on Tuesday, according to company officials,
The new center, located at the Sage Mill Industrial Park, will generate 20 new jobs and is designed to test the quality and reliability of the off-road engines built by the company before they’re shipped to customers around the globe.
Tognum America’s Vice President of Operations Joerg Klisch described the completion of the center as a significant milestone, particularly after the company just moved most of its operations from Detroit.
“None of these new achievements would have been possible without our strong partnership with the Aiken County community,” he said, also noting the company recently upgraded its administrative offices and parking lot at the site.
He added that the area is the perfect fit for the company because it’s relatively close to Charleston’s harbor, has interstate access and offers a business-friendly environment.
The company’s new investment will help to optimize the efficiency of its engines, allowing them to be serviceable in virtually any environment, Klisch said.
“The new building is designed to condition the air so that we can simulate a copper mine in the mountains of Chile where the air is cold and thin or a gold mine located in the dry and hot desert of Nevada,” he said.
The company, which is headquartered in Germany, produces off-highway engines in a variety of industries, including mining, commercial marine, rail and industrial.
Gary Mason, a company spokesman, said the new center will also help the company tackle stronger emission standards in the U.S. and around the world.
“Everyday, we are working to help our customers meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements so we anticipate we’ll have to keep doing that in the future,” Mason said.
S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt applauded the work of the company and the relationships it has developed locally.
“I love to hear people get up and call people in the community by name,” Hitt said, referring to the company’s officials.
“They know that these are their partners, and they know they can call them up on the phone, ask for help and help will be there.”
Will Williams, director of the Aiken-Edgefield Economic Development Partnership, also praised the company, emphasizing its role as a key corporate partner.
“They’ve continued to grow since they came here in 2010. They’re a strong business, a very technically-oriented company,” he said.