NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) – A business in Newton Falls is expanding, bringing new jobs and cutting-edge technology to the area.
And Tuesday morning, Quality Switch Incorporated broke ground on the Horace H. Sewell High Voltage Testing and Research Center. The expansion project is a $1.1 million addition for the company and has been several years in the making.
Company officials said the lab is the first in Ohio and will allow them to not only test their products faster but also help them develop new ones. The testing facility will help the company see what voltages their switches can reliably withstand.
“I think it’s important for the Valley because it gives us something that’s kind of unique,” Quality Switch Vice President Jeremy Sewell said. “Some of the testing this equipment gives us capabilities that aren’t available necessarily anywhere in any other test lab in North America.”
The new facility will allow the company to test not only the finished product, but it’s components, and see how much voltage it can reliably withstand.
“You have a viable concern here that has high quality workers, high quality product and by doing the laboratory they’re going to be able to expand their business nationally and internationally,” Newton Falls City Manager Jack Haney said.
The company makes all different types of switches that go in transformers. The lab will allow them to generate up to 700,000 volts to test the switch and its components above its rating to see if it’ll function in the grid and during lighting strikes.
“To have equipment that functions on the grid, believe it or not, there’s impulses and lightning strikes so you have to be able to simulate it to see if your product will work,” Quality Switch President Larry Dix said.
Currently, the company has to book tests months in advance at outside labs, costing several thousand dollars each time.
And although this new addition will only add a handful of jobs at first, company officials hope once the facility is up and running in the spring, they’ll be able to develop new products and in turn, hire more employees.