Grand Opening For New Astronics AES Headquarters
Astronics has moved into their new hillside headquarters in Kirkland, WA. We told our readers that we would cover the 1.5 mile move from Redmond, WA to 12950 Willows Road, Kirkland, WA. (Google that address and you get a pretty good idea of the two hillside buildings now converted into one) and thought a mini-plant tour would be appropriate. The relocation was completed over the holiday break. Mark Peabody commented, “The most amazing part of the move to our new, beautiful facility was the planning by our team, our customers, and our suppliers. We were back up in full production the day we opened the new facility on January 2nd, without any missed deliveries or significant issues.” Some 150 dignitaries and guests helped to celebrate the event at an open house last Friday.
In case you don’t know the company, here is bit of history: Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (Astronics AES) began in Seattle, Washington as Electric Service Company “ELSCO” in 1958. In the 1960s the company focused on the small specialty power supply business and in the 1970s expanded its product line to include weapons release test sets and moved to Redmond, WA. During the 1980s product offerings expanded further to system-level power products and test systems. In the early 1990s the company delivered a new product – airplane cabin phone systems for AT&T and later in the 1990′s introduced its in-seat power system, EMPOWER®. In early 2000, Astronics AES moved to a larger building in Redmond and introduced the COREPOWER® product line, a complete power generation and distribution systems for business aircraft.
On January 2, 2013 Astronics AES opened the doors of its new facility in Kirkland, WA. covering almost 100,000 square feet sitting on some 14 acres which will facilitate future expansion. Astronics AES business mix is approximately 50% Operations and 50% Engineering and Administration. The first floor of the building houses the production area and the second floor is cubicle and office seating. Astronics AES currently employs almost 400 employees and is actively recruiting and hiring. Their growth is apparent as we understand the company has already rented additional space as growth outstrips the new offices!
New to aircraft power? Here is a product rundown: EMPOWER® – In-seat power systems for commercial and business aircraft provides power to run laptops, portable electronic devices light phones and tablets, and in-flight entertainment systems. EMPOWER ® systems are installed on more than half a million seats on over 170 airlines worldwide. The newer product is COREPOWER® – Power generation and distribution systems that provides intelligent electronic power control and management for business jets.
(Editor’s Note: If the aisle in the Test Development area looks like a runway, well, it is – sorta. It seems that runway markings somehow seemed appropriate to management, especially with an airplane mural at each end!)