VAILO to move out of Kent Town

Advanced lighting manufacturer VAILO is expanding its manufacturing and R&D footprint to a retro-fitted headquarters in a former IBM building.

Jul 11, 2023, updated Jul 12, 2023

VAILO founder and CEO Aaron Hickmann said VAILO would sell its current Kent Town home and relocate to the new Wayville facility on Greenhill Road in early 2024.

Hickmann, an InDaily 40 Under 40 alumni and current judge said the Wayville facility will expand VAILO’s production output, with more than five times the manufacturing floorspace while incorporating automation and robotics on the assembly line.

The facility will also feature advanced 3D printing capabilities, a photometric dark room and a product development testing laboratory.

“VAILO’s new Wayville facility allows us to further develop our product ranges and test our technology, including some of the most advanced sport lighting systems and horticultural lighting systems globally,” Hickmann said.

“We’ve loved operating from Kent Town but we’ve outgrown the site within a short period of time and as we look at our export market opportunity the timing for this new state-of-the-art facility at Wayville is just right.”

The old IBM building at 60 Greenhill Road will become the headquarters for advanced manufacturer VAILO.

The Wayville facility was designed by another InDaily 40 Under 40 alumnus Dino Vrynios, the managing director of Das Studio.

He said integrating an automated assembly line within an existing building was challenging but it was a great opportunity for the Das Studio team to partner with Hickmann to realise his strong commitment to advanced manufacturing in South Australia.

“The brief from the VAILO team was bold from the very beginning – to create an extremely high level of amenity for staff and visitors throughout the facility – from the generous open plan collaboration and focus spaces, to the public café and secret arcade hidden behind a bookshelf,” Vrynios said.

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“We have also had the opportunity to work with 2021 40 Under 40 Jade Torres and the Pwerle Gallery to adorn the fit-out with their commissioned art.”

The new office will also have a meditation room and a mother’s feeding room.

“Serendipitously, the original tenant of the building in 1977 was IBM – it almost seems fitting to be the new home for VAILO in 2024 nearly 50 years later,” Vrynios said.

Hickmann said VAILO would shortly put its Kent Town offices on the market and would lease back the site until Wayville’s fit-out was completed.

VAILO is currently engaged with Australian and international stadium and sports field lighting projects and is expanding into the US market, which prompted the naming rights sponsor of the Adelaide 500 to add an ‘i’ to its name change in May.

When in the United States to scope the company’s first export project, Hickmann found several products and services already associated with the name ‘Valo’.

“The name VALO, meaning ‘light’, was associated with several diverse products and services globally,” Hickmann said.

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