FANUC America opens robotics facility in Auburn Hills

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — A major Michigan robotics manufacturer opened a new facility Tuesday to keep up with what its CEO called the "manufacturing revolution" occurring across the world.

The FANUC America North Campus, about a mile northwest of the robotics manufacturer's American headquarters in Rochester Hills, will be used to develop manufacturing systems for companies, allowing them to find solutions for their individual manufacturing needs, FANUC said.

The new facility, FANUC said, will house several departments, including engineering, product development, manufacturing and warehousing as part of an effort by the company, known for manufacturing robots that paint vehicles, to expand into other segments.

FANUC America President and CEO Mike Cicco showed Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, right, the new Auburn Hills facility as FANUC President and CEO Kenji Yamaguchi, left, looks on

The opening of the 461,000-square-foot facility in Auburn Hills brings the robotics manufacturer to more than 1 million square feet of occupied building space in Oakland County, according to FANUC.

"Now Michiganders, like those here at FANUC at the robotics team, are continuing to do important work to send a message to the world that we are still the home of innovation," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Whitmer also thanked FANUC for being an "amazing partner" to Michigan for its commitment to the state's education system. She said the company had helped schools create robotics curricula and donated $32 million toward education in the state.

"I look forward to building on these partnerships as we continue to work to make Michigan the true home for opportunity in the future for advanced manufacturing and automation," Whitmer said. 

A FANUC cobot, built to work safely with humans, shows off its ability to gently move boxes

At the event, FANUC America President and CEO Mike Cicco discussed the importance of educating people on the skills required to work in advanced robotic manufacturing.

"We need to upskill the existing labor force on the latest technologies in the industry. This will increase their skills and will also increase their pay," Cicco said. "In addition to the existing workforce, we also need to pay very close attention to the next generation of manufacturing workers."

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter