Ziehl-Abegg invests 28 million euros in the Hohenlohe Business Park
“We are pointing the way ahead for the future,” says Peter Fenkl, Chief Executive of Ziehl-Abegg, as an investment of 28 million euros for building and machinery will bring about a significant increase in productivity at the motor and fan manufacturer. In the ZA Kupferzell plant, space will be created for the manufacture of modern energy-saving fans (EC technology). At the official ground-breaking ceremony, the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, emphasises the future sustainability of Baden-Württemberg’s mechanical engineering industry.
“Baden-Württemberg is a pioneer of Industry 4.0 and has the potential to be the lead provider. Here – in the industrial heart of Europe – we are home to the sectors that will enable Industry 4.0 to become reality. Our medium-sized mechanical engineering companies are technology and market leaders and are at home all around the world. At the same time however, their roots are in Baden-Württemberg – as proven by today's ground-breaking ceremony. This is not only the start of a new chapter in the history of Ziehl Abegg SE, it is also a clear commitment to the region and as Minister of Economic Affairs I am delighted about that. This commitment is one of the keys to Baden-Württemberg, as a centre of mechanical engineering, also becoming the mechanical engineering region of the future”, according to Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut.
EC production will be relocated from Künzelsau to Kupferzell
Since worldwide demand for energy-saving fans and drives is rising, the Künzelsau-based company is constructing a new building for EC production in the Hohenlohe Business Park (Baden-Württemberg). “With this investment we are strengthening the position of Germany and Hohenlohe in particular as a manufacturing location”, says Fenkl. Up to now, the energy-saving drives and fans have been manufactured primarily in the plant on Würzburger Straße in Künzelsau. The 28 million euro investment comprises the new building as well as new machines. “This is where we will be establishing a showcase factory for Industry 4.0”, stresses the CEO.
The relocation of the existing production facilities will take place at the end of 2017. This will be accompanied by the transfer of 140 jobs from Künzelsau (Würzburger Straße) to the new building. “Obviously, a relocation of place of work for those affected is often not easy,” says CEO Fenkl. That’s why the decision was also not an easy one for the company. However, the existing site is already operating at full capacity, making further growth there impossible. “And there is clear evidence that this sector is growing”, says Fenkl. The reason being that the requirements of the European Union for the power consumption of electric drives and fans will be tightened even further by the year 2020 at the latest. These requirements are laid down the Eco-design Directive, the so-called ErP Directive (Energy-related Products). “We have been noticing the trend towards our highly efficient products for some years now” says the CEO, commenting on the positive development which is continuing in the current year 2016.
Further increase in the number of employees
Ziehl-Abegg has been manufacturing fans in the Hohenlohe Business Park since 2003 Hohenlohe. In 2008, this plant, which produces radial fans, was expanded to around 19,000 square metres. The entire Ziehl-Abegg site in the Business Park covers an area of approx. 235,000 square meters. The latest new building, with the distinctive ZA Tower, has become something of an eye-catcher. Elevator drives and drives both for medical technology as well as for underwater vehicles have been developed and manufactured at this site since 2014 on an area covering more than 12,000 square metres. It is also home to the Ziehl-Abegg Automotive Division with the ZAwheel gearless hub drive for electric city buses.
The number of employees at Ziehl-Abegg in the Hohenlohe Business Park will therefore rise in the coming year from the existing 480 to well over 620. Just how many additional jobs will be created within what period of time at the ZA Kupferzell plant cannot be realistically anticipated at this point in time.
Keyword EC drives
EC stands for electronically commutated. This kind of drive requires less power when operating but is more expensive to purchase because of the more sophisticated electronics.