In the past ten years Fori Automation in Shelby Township has taken a leap of faith that has paid off -- double-fold.
In 2002, the automation company had four global locations, with the headquarters in Shelby Township and 200 employees, now the company boasts eight locations ranging from Asia to South America, and 450 employees.
This year, the company is on target to hit a projected $420 million in sales.
The international machine supplier announced Tuesday its looking to immediately fill ten, high-paying engineering and machine-building positions. Also, the company plans to fill another 50 positions in the next five years.
The announcements were made Tuesday during a ribbon cutting for Fori Automation's new $1 million investment in a new 18,000-square-foot facility. Mike Beck, Fori Automation vice president said the additional building will help the company ship $70 million in equipment around the world.
Fori Automation was joined by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, who had his own announcement to make. The County Executive has launched the first-ever Macomb Business Award, which will highlight local second-stage companies in the county.
So what's the secret to this newfound sucess?
Fori Automation CEO Arthur Koerner said divesity and an unwavering beleif in quality.
Ten years ago, the automation company mainly focused on supplying the auto industry. Now, it has expanded service offerings and provides turnkey solutions to various industries, including agriculture, military, energy and aerospace.
Gregory Stegner, Controls Project Engineer, told Patch as he demonstrated an AGV, automatically guided vehicle, which was created by Fori and now supplied to various factories to move assebmly lines and heavy transport, that the comapny has an exclusive aerospace manufacting clientele. The lists includes Airbus A350, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Bombardier C-Series.
Koerner, a Rochester resident, started the company nearly forty years ago after coming to Detroit from Stuttgart, Germany. He opened the first shop in Shelby Township, which is where he lived at the time.
"Shelby Township has been good to me," he said.
With the help of his two sons, Bernard and Mark, they have guided the business into what it is now.
"I am proud of the result of our hard work and it all goes down to my family. My sons graduated as engineers and helped me build our name," said Koerner.