NewsMade in Idaho


Made in Idaho: Nampa's House of Design grows as robotic system integrator

HOD Project Sawtooth Arrival and Assembly.jpg
Project Sawtooth Arrival and Assembly.jpg
Posted at 6:44 AM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 11:24:43-05

As more companies turn to robots to automate their work flow, one Nampa business continues to grow.

"We have fun with robots is what we do here," said Ryan Okelberry, Chief Operating Officer of House of Design.

Engineers at House of Design think outside the box.

"Our main purpose is to help manufacturing companies have different ways to manufacture their products," Okelberry continued.

House of Design uses ABB robots to build custom automated systems for businesses in all sorts of industries.

"A robot can be fast and it can be repetitive, it does the same thing over and over again. We identify the problem spots in their process and design a new solution," Okelberry explained.

About seven years ago Okelberry and Shane Dittrich started House of Design in the Small Business Development Center. They've quickly grown and just moved into a new 36,000 square foot facility.

"We had an opportunity to start something new and different that we both were passionate about, so we started this business. We wanted to invent and be different, and I guess we like the word disrupt. Disrupt the way people think," Okelberry said.

"When Ryan and I started, we thought, 'oh we'll have five people, five employees.' We just hit over 45, so it's very fun, exciting, and scary at the same time," Dittrich, the Chief Executive Officer, added.

The House of Design team is working on more than a dozen different projects at one time. Among their most recent? A robotic system that makes KEEN shoes, and a packaging system for iClick PopSockets.

"A lot of kids have the PopSockets on the back of their phones. We made a system that helps bag those PopSockets, so when you see them in the stores and they're hanging in little plastic bags, we built a system called a FlexBagger that helps them put them into the bags that you see hanging on the store shelves," Okelberry said.

Other Idaho clients include Micron, SpecTek, Rekluse, and more. House of Design's creative technology is "Made in Idaho" and installed in companies all over North America.

"We build it all here, design it all here, make sure it works, then we travel and take it to their process and put it in," Okelberry said.

House of Design engineers spend time on location, training their clients on the system. They say industrial robots provide a fresh new look at manufacturing.

And for those who wonder if robots are taking over the jobs of humans? Okelberry says it's often a misconception.

"We try to inform people of what the situations really are. If you look at our business, we've grown to 45 employees, so we're creating jobs ourselves. They're high paying jobs for engineers, machinists, tradesmen, and software engineers. The future is going to be robotics."

"We have amazing employees, it's just unbelievable," Dittrich said.

Dittrich and Okelberry believe more growth is on the way, as the company's innovative technology makes a name for the Gem State.

"I always love seeing people's faces when they say, 'you do robotics and you live where?'" Okelberry laughed.

"The industries that we are going into and disrupting are huge high growth industries and we want to be a part of that. We want to continue to grow and change those industries and what they're doing," Dittrich said.

House of Design also gives back to the community and encourages STEM education. They make classroom visits and work with local school robotics teams.

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