David Beatenbough: "We needed to provide facilities that could handle all our situations.”
Seven cutting edge testing laboratories, a prototype workshop, and an innovative office building with seating for more than 1,500 engineers and support staff are the key highlights of LiuGong’s new R&D centre due to open in June 2015.
Speaking about the new facility next to the Chinese construction equipment manufacturing giant’s Liuzhou, south China HQ, LiuGong vice president David Beatenbough said: “I’m very excited that in less than 60 days now we’ll be holding the grand opening ceremony of our new R&D centre. It’s been under development for a number of years, and there’s been a lot of benchmarking to understand what we need to put into an R&D centre, what we should include, what we should not include, and what we should change from the way we’ve been doing things in the past.
“The test labs include a noise and vibration lab in an anechoic chamber; an engine power testing lab; a heat balance lab; a cold room; structural fatigue testing; and materials testing.”
Beatenbough said the 22,000m² R&D centre office building has open floor planning to enhance communicating, along with good gathering and meeting places. “I use gathering in meeting places as the example of our philosophy.
Many times I’ve been in meetings and you sit down and the room just isn’t comfortable: the lighting’s wrong, there’s too many chairs in the room, or voices echo. You cannot have effective communication, effective learning, or effective exchange of ideas if the room you’re sitting in isn’t right. One of the main things we learnt when doing this project is that if we had just one type of gathering room, it isn’t going to work. For different kinds of meeting you need different kinds of rooms, and we needed to provide facilities that could handle all our situations.”
The new R&D centre, said Beatenbough, would be staffed by LiuGong’s team of more than 1,000 “smart, energetic and eager to learn” engineers, working with a number of internationally recruited engineering experts tasked with passing on their knowledge in order to create more in-house experts.