On March 4, Stihl inaugurated its latest investments in Germany — an extension to the engineering center and a new production logistics building in Waiblingen-Neustadt. German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, said in a special video message for the inauguration ceremony, “By extending your engineering center, you are sending out a strong signal. You want to continue being a leader in the competition for better products that keep what they promise.”
Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann praised the company in his speech: “The fact that Stihl has invested here in Waiblingen is an encouraging sign for the people in the Stuttgart region, as well as the economy in general and the political landscape. A Baden-Wuerttemberg model enterprise with a long tradition thus clearly demonstrates its commitment to its roots. These multi-million investments not only continue the company’s success story well into the future, they will also stimulate other firms to build up their industrial production in Baden-Wuerttemberg.”
The total investment for the new buildings, including the necessary infrastructure and equipment, amounts to some 90 million euros (more than 99 million USD). The family-owned business, which celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2016, shows once again its dedication to the founding company in Waiblingen. “Today, we are celebrating an investment in consolidating our core competencies,” Dr. Nikolas Stihl, Stihl advisory and supervisory board chairman, said in his official welcoming address. “Our ability to innovate and the quality of our products set us apart. In its 90-year history, Stihl has written engineering history over and over again. In the future, we will continue to put our faith in the creativeness of our staff at our corporate headquarters.”
Dr. Bertram Kandziora, Stihl executive board chairman, noted, “The two new buildings help strengthen Stihl product development and production in Germany. We are significantly expanding our development capacities for electronic systems and cordless products, and reducing production costs by utilizing automated logistics. With today’s inauguration, we are charting the way for continuing the success of Stihl in the future.”
Competence center for cordless and corded electric technology: Minister President Kretschmann was able to gain a good impression of the company’s latest developments on a tour of the engineering center. Wolfgang Zahn, Stihl executive board member responsible for product development, said, “The extended engineering center underscores the Stihl claim to technology leadership. We have given our research and development staff more space for their first-class work on innovative products.”
With the extension, in which emission-free and quiet cordless and corded electric power tools are to be developed, the company sets a further example of its innovative skills in the area of environment-friendly power tools for forestry and garden maintenance, as well as agriculture and the construction industry. The building provides space for more than 300 workplaces. With approximately 12,600 square meters of floor space, it will accommodate equipment rooms, laboratories, electric test bays, workshops, offices and a new staff dining hall.
Gains in efficiency through new production logistics facility: The new production logistics building is located right next to assembly and production at Stihl Plant 2, and it has a total floor area of about 15,000 square meters. The facility has two automatic warehouses for containers and pallets. Supplies of material to product assembly will be highly automated by way of robotic systems, pallet handling and conveying technology, as well as driverless transport systems. By transferring product logistics from its present location in Ludwigsburg to Waiblingen-Neustadt, Stihl increases efficiency, reduces truck movement, and greatly simplifies logistics. This strengthens Germany as a production center.