BorgWarner has opened a new 100,000 square-foot technical center in Noblesville, Indiana. Combining operations from existing facilities in Anderson and Pendleton, Indiana, the new technical center features a state-of-the-art lab which increases the company’s research and development capacity to meet growing customer demand for these products by expanding the prototype building and testing capabilities for its electrified products. The building’s thoughtful, open concept office space is designed to spur employee collaboration and creativity to assist BorgWarner in maintaining its position as a global leader in providing clean and efficient vehicle propulsion solutions.
“We are thrilled to open our new technical center in Noblesville, allowing us to bring all our area employees under one beautiful new roof,” said Dr. Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems. “The new facility with its state-of-the-art lab and creative workspaces enables the research, development and testing of current and future hybrid and electric propulsion systems and components. This facility will be a key site in BorgWarner’s mission of developing clean, energy-efficient propulsion technologies.”
When designing the building, strong emphasis was placed on creating an optimal, well thought-out, productive work environment for engineers, designers, technicians and support staff. The design includes an open concept featuring interactive office environments and spontaneous collaboration zones that enhance communication, inspire innovation and improve efficiency. The airy, open concept building includes many flexible spaces – from meeting spaces to individual work space options – allowing employees to choose where and how they work. Employees can meet and work in one of five social hubs with different types of seating arrangements, one of the focus rooms for privacy, individual conference rooms with a variety of seating options, or the multipurpose room which overlooks a small patio area.
The new technical center’s 40,000 square-foot lab will conduct testing and prototype building along with expanded operations dedicated to BorgWarner’s growing electrified portfolio. With a combination of new and existing resources, the Noblesville location will develop and validate a variety of power electronics products as well as the company’s motor, alternator and starter products. In addition, a dedicated sound chamber will conduct noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) testing, dedicated shaker tables will test for vibration and the lab will conduct metallurgy testing and analysis, and metrology, including coordinate measuring machine (CMM) measuring capability and calibration. Two new system test cells will allow engineers to validate the company’s products as part of an entire propulsion system. The lab also increases the ability to test key technologies, including BorgWarner’s variety of 48-volt products and P2 hybrid modules. The lab will house six 48-volt test stations with the opportunity to increase the number of test stations as demand increases.
The office area is home to the original equipment and aftermarket sales team, customer service, information technology, finance, quality, human resources and global supply management, as well as designers, engineers and administrative staff. In the office area, individual employee cubicles feature abundant natural light, a “sit-to-stand” desk, and storage space. In addition, as one of the company’s wellness initiatives, each level in the two-story building has a walking work station – a combination of a flat treadmill base with a height-adjustable desk – that employees can reserve to use. The site also is connected to the Noblesville bike-share program with Zagster, through a sponsorship of five BorgWarner branded bikes. Employees, with an annual Zagster membership, can use the bikes for physical activity during lunch or to access surrounding area amenities.
From an aesthetic standpoint, special consideration was made to create a BorgWarner look and feel while honoring the company’s tie to the Indianapolis 500. A metal blue “racing” stripe can be found on the exterior of the building, while inside, a modern color scheme, including pops of BorgWarner blue, is carried throughout the office and lab areas. In the social hubs, there are aqua-tinted gear lights that closely resemble those on the company’s starter motors hanging from the ceiling. Prior to entering the facility, employees and guests cross a line of red bricks that replicate the “Yard of Bricks,” which serve as the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the greatest spectacle in racing – the Indianapolis 500. Each winning driver of the race, held in late May each year, has their sterling silver likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy™. The company commissioned the trophy in 1935 to celebrate the drivers’ commitment to racing excellence.
Employees from the existing facilities began moving into the Noblesville Technical Center in April, with full occupancy by 2020.