Hoeven, John Deere Officials Launch New High-Tech Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Facility in Fargo

Company is Expanding into a Thriving Sector

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, along with federal, state and local officials, today cut the ribbon on the new John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES) facility, a $22 million, high-tech building that will provide additional space for manufacturing, a growing engineering staff and product-design and verification labs. The company is growing, the senator said, because North Dakota has worked to build a business climate that is driving technology innovation and growth.

In addition to housing the engineering staff and labs, JDES’s new 90,000-square-foot facility will provide space to manufacture power electronics components and systems. With the new plant the company will have 300,000 square feet of space and more than 900 employees in the Fargo area. Although the company has no specific job creation estimates, company officials say they are growing, as reflected by the expansion, and they expect to grow staff as well.

The company’s theme for today’s event is “Strengthening our community, growing our business,” which reflects John Deere’s commitment to North Dakota and the Fargo area community.

“We’re working hard in North Dakota and nationally to build a business climate, as we have in energy, that will enable companies like John Deere to continue the kind of tremendous innovation and growth they’re displaying here today,” Hoeven said. “John Deere is on the cutting edge, and they’re here in North Dakota creating jobs and economic activity because we’ve built a climate where they can succeed.”

“North Dakota is great place to do business,” says Tom Budan, John Deere Electronic Solutions General Manager. “John Deere’s location in Fargo affords us access to the well trained talent in North Dakota’s higher education institutions, the work ethic and dedication of our people is second to none, and we enjoy a strong, collaborative relationship with state and local leaders who facilitate business growth in the region.”

Today’s event at JDES is part of several this week where Senator Hoeven will help to highlight high-tech companies in Fargo, including PRACS Institute. Also today, he will visit West Fargo’s Stem Center, a forward looking middle school that is stressing the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for the jobs of the future.

As governor, Hoeven launched initiatives designed to promote North Dakota’s technology and advanced manufacturing sectors. Technology-based businesses and advanced manufacturing were designated as two of the state’s targeted industries. Hoeven also launched the Centers of Excellence initiative, which partnered companies with the state’s universities to research, develop and commercialize new products and services.

Formerly Phoenix International, a Centers of Excellence program partner, JDES is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of custom, integrated electronic systems and components designed to perform in rugged, extreme environments. That includes cold, heat, dust, mud and other environmental conditions that could hinder operations or cause systems failures.

John Deere equipment incorporates rugged, reliable electronics designed and produced by John Deere Electronic Solutions. JDES impacts virtually every John Deere division, designing and building electronics for agriculture, construction, forestry and turf equipment. Other equipment manufacturers also rely on the company for electronic systems for trucks, buses, hybrid vehicles, forklifts and many other types of equipment.

JDES produces advanced controls, touchscreen displays and user interfaces used to power heavy equipment which operates in extreme environments. The company also produces telematics products that collect data and provide a critical link from the land to the laptop, as well as specialty sensors used for precision farming. JDES is also at the forefront of hybrid electric vehicles, producing power electronics for heavy equipment to deliver clean electric power, increasing fuel economy while reducing emissions.

The company’s electronic controls, displays and specialty sensors are designed and built to stand up to heavy vibration, severe operating conditions, chemicals, mud, dirt and dust. These designs are tested and proven out at JDES Test Labs where the products are subjected to the types of stressors that can cause failures in the field, such as temperature extremes, mechanical and electrical shocks, vibration and strong radio waves.

JDES has helped a bus manufacturer to modernize its electrical systems to perform in extreme environments, and a second manufacturer to enhance its self-propelled telescopic boom by incorporating electronic modules and software designed and made by Electronic Solutions. The boom is a device able to stretch 150 feet in the air and lift 1,000 pounds of material. It’s an essential piece of equipment to accomplish highly demanding tasks at construction sites, gas processing facilities, steel mills, convention centers, shipyards and other large venues.

Also attending today’s event were Deere & Company Senior Vice President Jean H. Gilles; JDES Director of Power Electronics John Oenick; JDES General Manager Tom Budan; Senator Kent Conrad; Governor Jack Dalrymple; Congressman Rick Berg; Mayor Dennis Walaker and other state and local officials and business leaders.