LOVES PARK, ILL. — Invensys Building Systems hosted an open house here July 31 for employees, customers, media and local officials to celebrate the company’s decision to move its Erie Controls production line from Mexico back to the United States.
“This is an opportunity for us to put new energy into a product that is world renowned and widely used throughout the HVAC industry,” Invensys Vice President and General Manager Brent Bernardi said. He noted that it took just three to four months to integrate the Erie operation into an existing facility.
Invensys renovated warehouse space for making the heating and air-conditioning valves. The added production will mean 28 more jobs at the company, which now employs more than 500 people locally.
Invensys purchased Milwaukee-based Erie in 1996.
Two years ago, the company shifted the Erie operation to Mexico. Invensys discovered, however, that it could save money and improve customer service by moving the work to its Loves Park plant.
While labor costs are lower in Mexico, Invensys learned that high inventory levels and extended delivery times made once-attractive cost savings hard to attain, said Bill Canady, director of customer and product development/components.
Invensys expects higher production and lower inventory levels that will result in significant cost savings, Canady said. He estimated the output of valves would increase from 5,000 a week in Mexico to 7,000 here. Plus, Invensys hopes to attract customers who otherwise were turned off by deliveries that had slowed.
“We brought the line back to the U.S. in an effort to improve quality and customer delivery,” Canady said. “This moves was worthwhile because we save money by lowering inventory, and we give better customer service by quicker delivery times and improved product quality.”