12-21-2012

Topping-out ceremony for the WITTENSTEIN Innovation Factory

WITTENSTEIN AG is investing thirty million euros in a new, ultra-modern and resource-efficient Mechatronics Centre in Igersheim-Harthausen. The topping-out ceremony was celebrated on December 21, 2012, almost eight months after the ground-breaking dig, and the shell construction phase of this major future project – the Group's biggest to date on the site of the headquarters – is now nearing completion. The new building, with around 18,000 square metres of floor space, is due to open in the autumn.

"The new building is not simply intended to demonstrate our commitment to innovative architecture and future production; we also want to create space for new jobs", said Dr. Manfred Wittenstein, President of WITTENSTEIN AG, in his address to staff and invited guests at the topping-out ceremony. Designed by pioneers for pioneers, the new WITTENSTEIN Innovation Factory is currently shooting up directly adjacent to the headquarters in Igersheim-Harthausen. The building is due for completion in the autumn and will create optimal opportunities for innovative production processes in terms of resource efficiency, environmental awareness and work conditions: office and production areas with short lines of communication, transparent to both the inside and outside, low-noise and low-emission – the successful reconciliation of economic with ecological requirements.

The future Mechatronics Centre has a footprint measuring 133 x 90 metres, three storeys and an overall height of 14 metres. With around 18,000 square metres of floor space, the complex is roughly the same size as the six existing production shops and offers room for 500 staff. When the new building is finished, the eye-catching, four metre high glass façade will make a stunning impression. The glazed surface on the complete exterior alone will total approximately 1800 square metres. Glass will also be the dominant material on the inside of the new complex with its extremely ambitious architecture. Following the topping-out ceremony absolutely on schedule at the end of 2012, the next step will be to close the complete façade. Parallel to this, work is already under way on the interior installations and proceeding swiftly.

The new building complex will give WITTENSTEIN AG the extra expanse it needs to continue growing. On the one hand, the thirty million euro investment is the outcome of its positive business development in the last two years while on the other, it will lay a crucial foundation for the future. "In the future innovative products will inevitably go hand in hand with innovative production concepts", explained Dr. Manfred Wittenstein, President of WITTENSTEIN AG. "The WITTENSTEIN Innovation Factory sets an outstanding example here." The future Innovation Factory designed by HENN Architekten, the internationally renowned Munich architects, will unite the Development, Sales & Marketing and Production functions of several mechatronic Business Units under one roof. According to Dr. Wittenstein, the Group took a conscious decision to promote networking across traditional department boundaries.

The "articles of manufacture" will be mechatronic components and systems comprised of mechanics, controls, sensors and software for customer applications in a variety of industries such as semiconductors, power generation or automotive construction. Incidentally, the benefits of these solutions will be enjoyed by absolutely everyone – from drivers of electric vehicles to users of mobile phones and electricity consumers. In other words, the WITTENSTEIN Innovation Factory will house – and in the long term supply – "technology for people".