Innovation is the watchword by which Littelfuse, Inc. climbed the ladder of the fuse industry. A desire to continue that trajectory is one of the many reasons Littelfuse collaborated with the Research Park and Fox/Atkins Development Corporation to create a customized 14,500-square-foot, stand-alone research and development center.
The building’s crown jewel is the company’s state-of-the-art High Power Testing Lab, which is positioned to accelerate Littelfuse’s product development efforts and support customers’ product testing requirements.
Littelfuse designs and manufactures fuses and other circuit protection devices for virtually every product that uses electrical energy, including consumer electronics, automobiles, and industrial equipment. The company has made more than a physical investment in the engineering facility; it also relocated some of its top talent from a Chicago-area location.
“This technology center is a physical reminder of that commitment to continuing that rich history with research and development at the heart of it,” said Littelfuse CEO, Gordon Hunter. At its 2011 grand opening, Hunter described the facility as a “conduit for Littelfuse to continue to imagine new solutions that will better protect both existing and emerging technologies.” Hunter also called its location at the University of Illinois Research Park “strategic.”
Littelfuse products are used in a variety of devices, ranging from cell phones to solar power systems and from gaming consoles to flat-screen TVs. In 2010 alone, Littelfuse products were in 7 billion devices manufactured worldwide. Its fuses help keep those devices safe and reliable by controlling the distribution of their electrical energy. Key to the selection of the Research Park for the high-power testing lab were the opportunities for collaboration with the University of Illinois, both with faculty and students in the Grainger College of Engineering.
“Working together, our universities and industry can develop strategies to strengthen the skills of a future workforce,” Hunter said. “The High Power Testing Lab is the cornerstone of those collaborative opportunities. The company has made the lab available to support the University’s power engineering curriculum.”
“It’s difficult for most people, including engineers, to comprehend the incredible damage that would be created if electrical power is not safely controlled. By locating the High Power Testing Lab and its unique capabilities on campus, students can witness this type of scenario in real life in a safe environment,” said Dal Ferbert, Vice President and General Manager of the Electrical Division at Littelfuse. “This is where theory and practice intersect. This is the future, and we’re extremely proud to be a part of it.”