Link breaks ground on new manufacturing, training facility
By Chad Elmore30 March 2021
Link’s Plant 4 expansion project to accommodate staffing, manufacturing capacities associated with the recent acquisition of Hadley.
Link Mfg. Ltd., a supplier of specialty-engineered suspensions, formally announced its plan to begin construction of a new 50,000 sq.ft. manufacturing and training facility. Sioux Center, Iowa’s mayor, local media and plant workers were on hand as company officials and dignitaries used gold-tipped ceremonial shovels to break ground, symbolically starting a construction process that is anticipated to be completed in December of 2021. The event was held on the site of the new Plant 4 facility, which will be located on Link’s Sioux Center campus, adjacent to and connected with its existing plant 3 building.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter in Link’s 41-year history, made even more economically impactful to our city, state and industry through our recent Hadley acquisition,” said Jim Huls, president of Link Manufacturing. “The contemporary new space will enable the company to better manage its suspension, suspension control and specialty products business and anticipated growth across new and existing product sectors. And the integrated training facility will help us to provide continuing education to our existing workforce, and educate new staff on the latest in today’s high-tech manufacturing techniques.”
Link is certified to IATF 16949 standards and over the years the company has assembled a world-class testing lab. In addition to its Sioux Center headquarters, Link maintains engineering and manufacturing facilities in Nisku, Alberta, Canada. The company currently employs more than 200 staff members, and the new Plant 4 expansion is expected to result in the hiring of up to 50 more workers.
A Tier 1 supplier to major heavy-duty commercial truck manufacturers, Link originally made a name for itself with the introduction of the Cabmate premium cab suspension in 1980. The company said the Cabmate improved safety and comfort in Class 7 and 8 cabs, and its 2 millionth Cabmate rolled off the assembly line in 2019.
“Link’s recent acquisition of Hadley SmartValve electronic height control systems, Smart Air Management Systems (SAMS), dynamic air suspension control technology and staff significantly expands Link’s capabilities, increases its overall product depth and will stimulate the development of new innovations, while enhancing the company’s electrical engineering and software development capabilities,” Huls said. “Link now moves into the whole-vehicle suspension control segment of the heavy truck market, extending its reach into medium- and heavy-duty truck, tractor, trailer, motorcoach, transit bus, shuttle bus, recreational vehicle and specialty vehicle markets.”
Huls noted that the new space will allow Link to add and reconfigure manufacturing cells to accommodate the company’s new, broader product line. He also explained that the Plant 4 space will help Link as it turns more and more of its attention to engineering and manufacturing suspension control technologies.
“Sioux Center is located near the geographic center of the country and keeps Link within easy reach of major transportation routes and thus the OEMs and secondary markets we serve,” Huls said. “Sioux Center has been good for Link and we believe that Link has been good for Sioux Center. Our roots are here and our town, our company and our customers all benefit from our Northwest Iowa values and work ethic.”