Crash Test Dummy Factory Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Located in Erie County, the 45,000-square-foot facility was the first of its kind.

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Humanetics, a company that manufactures anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs), which are more commonly known as crash test dummies, is celebrating 30 years of operations in Erie County, Ohio.

The company traced its origins back to the 1950s, when Samuel Alderson was credited with creating the first crash test dummy. Since that time, Humanetics has developed more than 40 types of ATDs. It first began producing crash test dummies  in 1991 in Milan, Ohio, but after substantial growth, the company moved its operations to a larger manufacturing site.

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Located in Erie County, the 45,000-square-foot facility was the first of its kind, designed specifically for the manufacturing of crash test dummies. It features a state-of-the-art machining center, advanced vinyl and rubber molding systems, and a centrally located dummy certification lab spanning 4,500 square feet. The facility’s advanced environmental controls ensure the production of consistent, high-quality components, setting a new standard in the industry.

As a celebration of Humanetics’ 15-year presence in Huron, the company recently raised a billboard on Route 2 close to the Rye Beach Road exit. Christopher O’Connor, President and CEO of Humanetics, explains, “We wanted to remind the Huron community that the safety design of every vehicle in the world has been tested with a crash test dummy that originates in Huron. Millions of lives have been saved by these devices, meticulously manufactured here in Huron. It’s hard not to be proud of that.”

Human Resources Manager Heather Aschemeier said the company employs more than 120 operators and engineers at its Huron facility. She credited the automotive heritage of the region for supporting the company and said that many manufacturing positions at Humanetics do not require previous experience, since the company provides on-the-job training for roles including machinists, molders, welders, assemblers, quality technicians and laboratory technicians.

Since 1990, advancements in vehicle safety technologies, notably seat belts and airbags, have played a pivotal role in saving lives on the road. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that these features, along with rigorous crash testing involving Humanetics' ATDs, have been instrumental in saving hundreds of thousands of lives. The dedicated teams at our Huron facility have been crucial in producing the tools that allow the integration of these life-saving technologies into modern vehicles, underscoring our commitment to enhancing road safety.

To commemorate its 15th year of manufacturing ATDs in Huron, Ohio, Humanetics has erected a billboard on Route 2 east before the Rye Beach road exit. This milestone not only celebrates the company’s achievements in vehicle safety but also reinforces its ongoing search for local talent to join its mission of saving lives.

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