Edwards systems moves to new digs

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

SARASOTA, Fla. - Edwards Systems Technology moved into a custom-built facility in mid-November that is expected to give the manufacturer of fire products an edge when it  comes to bringing new products to market.

The building features a testing room that enables the company to test products in a controlled, but fire environment. The 30 by 30 foot fireproof testing room is to Underwriter Laboratories standards, so the company can test its fire products here versus having to travel to UL’s headquarters in Chicago.

“We can have UL come down and witness tests,” said Steve Hein, vice president of marketing for EST. “And, if we find something’s wrong, we can tweak the equipment on site.”

The $15-million facility enables EST to bring its more than 150 employees under one roof for the first time. Employees previously worked in two 36,000-square-foot buildings linked by a canvas walkway. Now, the company is located in a development called Lakewood Ranch in a newly built 109,000-square-foot building that also provides EST with room for future growth.

Another important part of the facility, according to Hein, is its expanded training center. The company went from four classrooms to five, with each workstation equipped with a PC and various EST products.

The company trains more than 2,000 people per year on its products, with about 40 percent of its students taking classes on the road.