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Ziehl-Abegg invests 28 million euros in the Hohenlohe Business Park - Significant increase in productivity



Ziehl-Abegg (Germany) - Ground breaking ceremony in Germany: Ziehl-Abegg is building a new factory in the Hohenlohe Business Park for the production of energy-efficient electric drives and fans. The existing manufacture of these products is to be relocated from Künzelsau to the new site and production expanded.

“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.

About Ziehl-Abegg:
Ziehl-Abegg (Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany) is one of the leading international companies in the field of ventilation and drive technology and the associated control systems. Back in the Fifties’ Ziehl-Abegg established the basis for modern fan drives: external rotor motors which even today are still seen as state-of-the-art worldwide. Another area of business is electric motors which provide the power e.g. for elevators, medical applications (computer tomography equipment) or deep-sea underwater vehicles. The theme of electro-mobility for motor vehicles was established as part of Ziehl-Abegg Automotive in 2012.

The high-tech company has an impressive innovative capability. Ziehl-Abegg employs 1,950 personnel in its production plants in Southern Germany. The company has a global workforce of 3,450 spread between 16 production plants, 27 companies and 97 sales locations. The products, approx. 30,000 in all, are sold in more than 100 countries. Turnover in 2015 totalled 448 million euros, with exports accounting for three quarters of the figure.

Emil Ziehl founded the company in Berlin in 1910 as a manufacturer of electric motors. After the Second World War the company’s headquarters were relocated to Southern Germany. Ziehl-Abegg SE is a not listed company but family-owned.

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