A. O. Smith announced plans for a new Product Development Center at its Lebanon, Tennessee, location. In the next six months, construction will begin at the existing Lochinvar campus to include a state-of-the-art engineering facility where next-gen water heating and boiler technologies will be developed. The company will also be expanding the Lebanon manufacturing facility to support future production lines, including space for new decarbonization products.

The new center will bring together the company’s North America Water Heating commercial engineering, platform electronics, product support and product management functions with Lochinvar engineering and product management.

“Co-locating these teams in one central location with collaborative working space will enable us to not only leverage synergies between engineering teams but also enhance knowledge sharing to support future product innovation,” said Kevin Wheeler, chairman, president & CEO. 

With plans to start this summer, construction of the expanded facility will take approximately 20 months to complete. Its projected cost of $30 million represents a significant investment in talent and resources to create an environment where innovation is the focus.

“Just as the Corporate Technology Center in Milwaukee was designed to showcase our advanced water heating and water treatment research and development efforts, this new facility will serve as a hub for commercial water heating and hydronics new product development,” said Dr. Bob Heideman, senior vice president and chief technology officer. 

When fully operational, it’s anticipated that the Product Development Center will house more than 150 employees.