Volvo Construction Equipment inaugurated a new test and development center in Hapcheon, Korea, May 13 with more than 400 guests including local government officials, media representatives and employees. The facility, which doubles Volvo CE’s excavator testing capacity in Korea, includes an all-weather test dome, reliability and noise test field, workshops, various complete machine performance test areas and a customer clinic. Engineers at the 253,515-square-meter site will focus on excavator product development, advanced engineering and product maintenance.

“Over the last few years we have increased the number of excavator projects and it became apparent that we needed to expand our facilities to accommodate our testing requirements,” said Anders Larsson, executive vice president of Volvo CE’s Technology function. “This important investment of approximately SEK 90 million [about U.S. $13.6 million] allows us to expand our excavator R&D capability here in Korea, test more machines locally, improve our product development process and reduce lead times.”

The new test and development center is 57 miles from Volvo CE’s existing R&D facility in Changwon, further establishing the area as the company’s global R&D excavator hub.

“Volvo CE specifically chose to invest in Korea close to our Changwon site,” said Larsson. “Excavators are a key product for Volvo CE and our customers have a high regard for the fuel efficiency, performance and reliability of our machines. The opening of this advanced test and development center underlines Volvo CE’s commitment to the Korean construction equipment market, as well as our confidence in Korean engineering.”

The new facility is Volvo CE’s 12th technology site. Earlier this year, the company opened the Jinan Technology Center in Shangdong province, China.

“At Volvo CE, we believe it’s important to have a global footprint of engineering and design resources,” added Larsson. “Locating sites where machines are used gives us a greater understanding of our customers and their needs and that’s a big advantage in today’s highly competitive global marketplace.”