By Erik Chalhoub, Special to the Pajaronian
MORGAN HILL—Citing a need for more space and to be closer to its Silicon Valley customers as its business grows, Watsonville-based Applied Motion Products broke ground on its Morgan Hill facility on Aug. 6.
The facility, now under construction in the Madrone Business Park in north Morgan Hill, will consolidate all of the company’s U.S. operations, which are currently conducted in two separate buildings on Westridge Drive in Watsonville, including production, warehouse, operations, engineering, customer service and executive management.
The 21,000-square-foot facility, being built by Toeniskoetter Construction on 2.5 acres at 18645 Madrone Parkway, is expected to be complete by mid-2021. Applied Motion Products purchased the land in mid-2019 for $1.5 million, according to real estate data.
Applied Motion Products, founded in 1978, specializes in motion control products such as stepper and servo motors, drives, gearheads and power supplies.
According to the company, the larger facility will accommodate growth in the design and manufacture of motion control products.
President and CEO Don Macleod said Applied Motion Products has been busy during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many of its customers are in the medical field and need items such as ventilator motors, parts for UV light sterilization equipment and more.
“We didn’t expect a worldwide pandemic on the critical path to get this building up and running,” he said. “We managed to deal with it, and everybody figured out how to keep things going.”
According to Macleod, Applied Motion Products shut down for four days early in the pandemic to figure out safety protocols for its workers. Employees are required to wear masks, while the facility undergoes daily disinfection. Employees who are able to work from home continue to do so.
Many of the current 35 employees in Watsonville will retain their jobs in Morgan Hill. Many of the employees live in San Jose, according to Macleod, making the move an easier commute. He estimated the new facility will employ 50 people.
The site will eventually be built out to 47,000 square feet as the company grows, according to Applied Motion Products.
Shanghai-based MOONS’ Industries, which owns Applied Motion Products, also operates Lin Engineering in Morgan Hill, which manufactures stepper motors.