Thursday, April 26, 2012, will stand as a milestone day in the long, illustrious history of one U.S. protein-processing equipment supplier, as the day that Handtmann Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its brand new U.S. headquarters and technology center in Lake Forest, Ill.

Customers and industry partners, as well as Handtmann employees and senior management from the company’s global headquarters in Germany attended the event, marking the company’s move into a 36,500-square-foot facility in the suburbs north of Chicago. Handtmann Inc. is a division of Albert Handtmann Holding GmnH & Co. KG, based in Biberach, Germany.

Tom Kittle, president of Handtmann Inc., told attendees that the “long-held Handtmann commitment to ideas for the future is fueled by what I think is a unique combination of creative focus and generations of entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Albert Arthur Handtmann Technology Center was dedicated during the presentation as well, named after chairman Albert Arthur Handtmann, who thanked the audience for the honor and talked about the company's history from Germany over an Internet connection via the popular Skype video application.

The technology center was designed with a simple purpose in mind, Kittle explained, to be used by Handtmann’s customers. It was modeled after the German parent company’s successful 20,000-square-foot meat-processing research center opened two years ago in Germany, named "The Forum."

During the event, Thomas Handtmann, president and fourth-generation leader of Albert Handtmann Holding GmnH & Co. KG, spoke to attendees about the scope of Handtmann’s business and thanked Handtmann Inc. for its work in the U.S.

After the dedication, attendees were treated to three demonstration stations, featuring a variety of Handtmann’s sausage-processing machines, including the ConPro System 200 and the HVF660 system, among others. Other networking events for invited guests, including a brewery tour, golf outing and dinner rounded out the special day.