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New center helps Allison keep up with speed of innovation

Allison Transmission Inc. is headquartered in Indianapolis. Local UAW 933 workers will vote on a new agreement on Jan. 16, 2024, the new contract coming months after negotiations began in November 2023. (Provided Photo/Allison Transmission)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) expanded its footprint on the city’s west side earlier this month with the opening of a state-of-the-art innovation center. Engineers at the 100,000-square-foot facility are focused on advancing technology in the commercial vehicle propulsion sector.

“This facility enabled us to get all of our 300 or so product engineering associates here on one campus,” said Executive Director of Global Marketing Branden Harbin. “And then also, from an industry collaboration standpoint, [it] enables us to bring state-of-the-art capabilities in simulation, 3D modeling and validation with industry partners.”

Harbin discussed the new center in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. Click here to watch interview

The center is part of an overall $335 million investment that also included Allison’s Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Center, which opened in 2020. Harbin says the new facility creates a one-stop shop for employees, partners and customers.

“The whole concept is start with an idea,” Harbin said. “We can model that with physical and virtual simulation. Once we get the concept ready, we can go into modeling with 3D printing capability and then actually produce it right here at our manufacturing footprint within Indianapolis and test it at our test track and demonstration track that is right behind us and leverage the Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Center that’s also here on this main campus to do the validation of those products.”

Harbin says the new facilities are in response to the increasing speed required for innovation.

“Rather than once every decade bringing a new product to market, right now we have eight products that we’re looking at maturing to go to startup production across conventional products with diesel engines, as well as our electric axle product family,” he said.

In addition to creating new innovations, Harbin says the center will also help attract top talent.