Melbourne, Fla.-based Harris Corp. on Tuesday opened a new factory that the company said is "the world's most advanced manufacturing center for the production of tactical radios, assured-communication systems and related products."
The company said it developed the 573,000-square-foot facility near Rochester, N.Y., to increase its competitiveness and address the changing requirements of military and public safety communications.
The factory, which employs approximately 1,100 people, consolidates several previously geographically dispersed production lines into an integrated facility, the company said.
"This new facility will be a key enabler in bringing products to market more quickly and sharpen our focus on meeting the current and emerging needs of a dynamic customer base," said Dana Mehnert, president of the Harris RF Communications group.
"We'll leverage this factory to deliver better, more innovative and more cost-effective solutions to military and public safety personnel."
The new facility will manufacture advanced tactical-communication products for military, public safety and government agencies in the United States and across the world, the company noted. They include the Harris Unity multiband public safety radio for police, fire and other first responders.
To develop the center, Harris renovated a former Xerox Corp. office building into a production site in about 10 months.
The facility distributes work across adaptable "focus factories" in support of the entire Harris RF product portfolio.
The focus factories create an inline production operation that integrates everything from parts delivery, assembly and testing with packaging and shipping, the company said.
Future plans call for integration of a supplier village in which partners can locate production within the Harris factory.
Approximately half of Harris RF Communications' local workforce of 2,300 has relocated to the new center in Henrietta, with the balance of employees remaining in the city of Rochester.
"In today's global economy, companies have the choice of doing business anywhere in the world and Harris' decision to remain in Monroe County speaks volumes about our community's significant assets," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. "Our economic development team was instrumental in working with Harris to retain 1,100 manufacturing jobs for local residents."