Performance rope manufacturer Samson has completed its 15,000-square-foot expansion at its Ferndale, Wash., facility.  The expansion includes a new innovation and training center and several enhancements to the manufacturing area.

The ITC was specially designed to create an environment of collaboration and innovation, Samson says.  It now houses both the research and development and quality functions, as well as an expanded test lab.

The office space accommodates 16 engineers and field service technicians, 9 quality assurance technical professionals, a large-capacity training room, and a full testing facility.  The testing facility contains test beds that accommodate up to 1.1 million pounds break strength, a cyclic bend over sheave test bed, drop towers, yarn and creep testers, a chemical laboratory, and dedicated splicing benches to support product testing and customer/employee training.

The additional space and reconfiguration of the facility allowed for improvements in both the manufacturing and shipping areas, Samson says. Part of Samson’s commitment to LEAN practices is a constant evaluation of the manufacturing environment for efficiency and safety, the company says. 

The more efficient warehouse layout speeds up the pick-and-ship process, Samson says, allowing for better staging of shipments and the new rack structures comply with the latest safety regulations.  Four new shipping bays significantly expand the shipping capacity and the area improvements outside the building provide safer and more convenient access for trucking companies. In addition, equipment was added to increase splice capability by 50 percent.

Beyond the operational improvements, there have also been significant upgrades to employee spaces, Samson says. A new lunchroom was added to accommodate Samson’s growing number of employees. It includes lockers, a technology station and new bathrooms.

The result of these enhancements, the company says, supports Samson’s goal of improving service to its customers while enhancing safety throughout the facility. 

“I am extremely excited to see this fantastic leap in our technical and training capabilities, while also being able to accomplish some significant operational upgrades that support our endless drive to improve Samson’s service to our customers and safety,” said Mark Swiackey, Samson’s Chief Operating Officer.

To celebrate the expansion, Samson hosted an open house for employees and their families.  More than 150 people attended the event.