German drive and fan manufacturer Ziehl-Abegg is investing US$100 million (AU$143 million) into a new US production plant.
“This day marks the beginning of Ziehl-Abegg’s 100-million-dollar investment into a new, cutting-edge production plant for the North American market,” says Ziehl-Abegg Chief Executive Officer Doctor Marc Wucherer.
This is the largest single investment at one location in the company’s 113-year history. According to the company, it is the result of strong growth in the Mexican, Canadian and US markets.
Growth in North America has enabled the Greensboro, North Carolina, site to accelerate its rate of expansion since its inception in 2004. Ziehl-Abegg’s USA employee numbers grew from zero to 40 in the first decade, and in the past eight years increased to 230.
By 2030, Ziehl-Abegg anticipates that there will be 800 US employees, with the USA headquarters responsible for 11 sales offices serving the US, Mexican and Canadian markets.
The new plant and administration building will be constructed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, approximately 20km from the existing site. The 46,500m2 building is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2024, and the existing production plant will be relocated to the new site in 2025.
The production plant will have a high level of vertical integration, says Chief Operating Officer Joachim Ley.
“We will not only be expanding capacities but also increasing the level of vertical integration,” he says. “Thanks to a system of fully self-contained production, starting with the motors, we will be able to offer our customers a high degree of flexibility and short delivery times.”
Winding machines, welding robots and CNC machines haven been installed for this purpose. Due to the location’s central function, the site will include a high-bay warehouse that optimises vertical storage capacity, says US Managing Director of Ziehl-Abegg Mirco Herrmann.
“And in the mid-term, we will also be setting up a development hub with a laboratory in Winston-Salem,” says Herrmann. “This will utilise an extensive system of air measurement and motor test rigs.”
Image shows Ziehl-Abegg management (L-R): Thomas Brommer (ZA group), Jimmy Mitchell (ZA USA), Dr. Marc Wucherer (CEO ZA group), Joachim Ley (ZA group) and Mirco Herrmann (ZA USA).