Eudora tapped for Leica product demonstration
A crowd of onlookers poked and prodded yellow construction equipment Tuesday in a field next to Dwane Richardson's house south of Eudora.
He didn't mind a bit.
Leica Geosystems ---- a Swiss-based company specializing in survey equipment ---- borrowed his property for part of a two-day open house to showcase their latest offerings in machine automation.
"I think it's going very well," Richardson said during a lunch break Tuesday.
The open house brought in dealers and distributors from around the country to get a first-hand view of Leica's next-generation wares.
The demonstration also brought in Leica executives from Europe.
The two-day event is unique, Leica public relations manager Debby Whiting said.
"It's not done anywhere else in the industry," Whiting said.
Attendees heard presentations on Leica's new products before seeing them demonstrated live. Leica's products guided construction machinery such as excavators and professional graders.
Distributors saw Leica's global positioning technology, which basically allows supervisors to keep detailed track of a project from a distance.
A different instrument uses three-dimensional imagery to keep graders or excavators on track or from overdigging.
After watching the demonstrations, distributors tried the instruments for themselves.
The hands-on experience was a key ingredient in the overall event, Leica marketing manager Reynolds Boyd said.
Prices of the showcased equipment ranged from about $1,600 for a simple system to more than $90,000 for a fully automated product.
Leica's choice of using Eudora for its open house came partly from geography and partly from a current employee.
Eudora resident and Leica employee Fred Rogers helped the company settle on Eudora, Richardson said.
"They wanted to do a demonstration in the middle of the country," Richardson said. "I know they looked at five or six other locations."
Eudora beat out Olathe among others for the open house, Richardson said.
Richardson's road access and open field helped clinch the deal, he said.
In addition to the construction equipment strewn across Richardson's property, Leica put up a tent to host a catered meal.
"We're expecting 200 people to attend it," Richardson said. "It's good for business."