Encapsys, LLC, has opened its new Innovation Headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin. The two-story facility will house nearly 100 employees and features a state-of-the art chemical science and engineering laboratory, a new pilot plant facility, and an open-concept floor plan for office space, all designed to foster innovative employee interactions.
Mary Goggans, president of Encapsys, underscored the importance of the new headquarters building as the foundation for growth and success.
"This is important for our future," Goggans said. "This is going to be the world headquarters for encapsulation. We're already recognized worldwide for our patents and expertise and now we have a place that we can show off. It really gives us something special when we bring in our customers and partners."
Class-leading IT Systems
The new headquarters building features world-class information technology and audio-visual systems (IT/AV). The system was designed for scalability and future adaptability, along with ease of use.
"Our IT customers are incredibly bright people, talented and respected within their respective disciplines," said Corporate IT Manager Brett Keezer. "Having a minor in IT shouldn’t be a requirement to operate within the footprint of IT systems. The technology that facilitates ease of collaboration, fast and in real time, silently fades to the background while the real work of business stays at the forefront — as it should. Our employees wishing to share their information for group collaboration can do so by accessing any of our displays wirelessly, quickly and with ease."
Keezer also emphasized that the IT/AV systems in the new building were designed to scale with the business as it grows.
"Engineers like to use buzz words like 'Future Proofing' a little too often," Keezer noted. "We designed the infrastructure within the Encapsys Innovation Center to be that exactly. We have full mesh AC Wi-Fi throughout all areas of the building, full gigabit wired network for fast file access along with power over Ethernet to all ports. This means if we want to place a phone or wireless access point into a new area, we can and will not have to worry about re-engineering systems to do so."
Keezer also emphasized that building IT/AV systems were built with security in mind.
"Above all else we want to ensure the safety of our people and, second to that, the integrity of our business. We meet this goal by facilitating closed circuit camera surveillance, building access systems with secured internal areas, and best-in-practice data security through hardware security and software security. We want to ensure that whether human or electronic, our building is a safe place to work and our work is secured from those wishing to attain it unethically."
Cutting-Edge Chemistry Laboratory
At the heart of the Encapsys business is innovation in chemistry, whether in fragrances, phase change materials, paints and dyes, or in consumer goods.
Encapsys scientists develop sophisticated chemical protection and delivery systems for a wide array of consumer, industrial and specialty applications. With this comes the requirement for state-of-the-art innovation facilities that allow the process of science to move forward with enhanced efficiency and success. To that end, the laboratory was designed to foster both comfort for those working in it, while simultaneously encouraging collaborative interaction.
"We have attempted to create a lab that is a safe and comfortable place for the scientists to 'live' so that they will want to spend time there," said Principal Scientist Todd Schwantes. "To promote collaboration, and the innovation that can occur with collaboration, shared spaces occur in the center of the lab in order to encourage scientists to interact. These areas include shared equipment areas and lab collaboration spaces and other in-lab meeting spaces."
Safety was also a paramount consideration in the design of both the building in general and the laboratory in particular. The result, according to Schwantes, is a fully modern scientific research facility that differs considerably from other chemistry laboratories.
"I think that the overall design of the lab is probably unique," Schwantes said. "More correctly the design of our chemical zone is pretty unique. The chemical zone includes the lab space, the pilot plant, and a central storage and dispensing function located between the two. This design creates a very safe environment that minimizes the potential of chemical exposure to those not working in the chemical zone. All work involving chemicals is done within the chemical zone, access points to the chemical zone are limited and access is controlled."
Interaction, Collaboration and Innovation
From concept to creation the design and construction of the new building was a collaborative project for the entire Encapsys team.
"From the beginning of this project, as a team we've been heavily involved in every aspect of the design of the building, from layout to functionality and all the way through to ensure that the building meets our needs," remarked Corporate Engineering Manager Mark Kampf. "This building is not just a simple office building. It's complex. There's a lot to it and the end product really reflects the commitment of the entire team."
That team spirit and commitment has resulted in an innovation headquarters that is built, from the ground up, with the intention of fostering innovative change, adaptability and growth.
"With the new headquarters, there's going to be a lot of opportunity for change," said Goggans. "We have great things like the Hub — a big social space. On top of that, the open floor format is going to be new for a lot people, but it's going to increase collaboration. And, there are many places for people to go to have privacy to do their serious thinking."
Schwantes agreed. "This lab and this building were created with safety and collaboration in mind," he said. "I'm looking forward to having everyone in the same lab for the first time. We will all want to spend time here, because this is a very nice space that was designed specifically for the work we do.”
The overall end result is the creation of a stunning masterpiece of innovative design.
"I can't believe how beautiful the labs are," said Goggans. "The collaboration space, the size, the best of everything. The pilot plant is one of the best, most sophisticated pilot plants I've ever seen. And obviously the offices and meeting space are terrific. We used to say that our production facility is our jewel. Now, with our new Innovation Headquarters, we've added another jewel."
Noteworthy Building Details
- Located on seven acres in the Appleton's Southpoint Commerce Park
- Building size: 40,000 sq. ft. including:
- 8500 sq. ft. office area
- 7500 sq. ft. laboratory
- 2100 sq. ft. pilot plant
- Three employee entrances
- Locker rooms with showers
- Ergonomic flooring in the laboratory
- Radiant heating
- Continuous reverse osmosis (RO) loop with seamless IR welds servicing both the pilot capsule plant and laboratory
- Full kitchen
- Pilot plant features air fed through a regenerative thermal oxidizer.