Top Investments 2022 in Baden-Württemberg
More than 6,300 foreign companies are located in Baden-Württemberg. THE LÄND boasts innovative strength, a diverse range of industries, research institutions with close links to business as well as highly trained specialist staff. Thanks to these factors, it continues to be an attractive location for international investors as one of Germany’s and Europe’s most powerful economic centres, even during times of crisis. The top investments in 2022 by 247TailorSteel, Pfizer and Valmet Automotive bear testimony to the attractiveness of the region.
247TailorSteel: customised and automated metal products from smart technology
A best-practice example for the automation and digitalisation of manufacturing processes can be found at 247TailorSteel’s new plant in Langenau, Baden-Württemberg. The manufacturing facility, which was completed in September 2022, produces custom-cut sheet and tube parts. Using innovative online software, the company is able to provide customers with fully automated quotes within one minute at any time. In addition, with the help of automated logistics, laser and bending processes, the products can be delivered within 48 hours.
The Dutch company has invested a total of EUR 60 million in the Langenau plant, which will be used to enlarge its machine park up to 36 machines and increase the headcount to over 250 employees by 2024. CEO Carl Berlo says there were strong arguments for choosing a location in Baden-Württemberg: “Germany is such a big country, and we see that the markets are very attractive, especially here in the south. Baden-Württemberg offers skilled workers and close collaboration with the local communities. Furthermore, our suppliers for metals and the A7 and A8 motorways are in the neighbourhood. Thus, we couldn’t find a better location.”
Not only was the potential of the region convincing, project implementation was also a complete success. “As of today, we have achieved our goals. We completed the site in Langenau on schedule thanks to the local companies that carried out the construction. We got the employees we needed from the start, both in terms of numbers and of quality. We have also noticed that clients are becoming more and more aware of us,” says Tobias Höhnlein, plant manager of 247TailorSteel Deutschland GmbH.
The company from the Netherlands has received support from Baden-Württemberg International (BW_i). The one-stop agency of the state Baden-Württemberg for investors assisted 247TailorSteel in its search for a site. According to CEO Berlo, thanks to BW_i, the company was able to narrow down the potential sites quickly. “Fortunately we encountered BW_i, which was more than supportive in bringing us to the next phase. They facilitated the meetings and familiarised us with the common practice in the region as well as the rules we needed to keep in mind. So I don’t think it would have been possible, certainly not in this timeframe, to get where we are today without working with BW_i”.
Pfizer: commitment to the competitiveness and futureproof nature of the Freiburg location
US pharmaceuticals group Pfizer has invested almost EUR 300 million to expand its existing plant in Freiburg into one of the world’s most modern pharmaceuticals production facilities based on Industry 4.0 standards. In May 2022, the Pfizer production location in Freiburg opened its new ‘HighCon’ plant for the efficient and reliable manufacture and packaging of innovative medicines for the global market.
Up to seven billion additional pills and capsules will be produced over an area of 13,500 square metres – roughly the size of two football pitches. This constitutes a 140% increase in the total capacity of the Freiburg location, making it one of the highest-performing production facilities in the global Pfizer network. “All machines and processes are intelligently networked with the help of information and communication technologies, which enables the Freiburg-based Pfizer plant to produce more flexibly, faster and more resource-efficiently”, explained Dr. Axel Glatz, plant manager in Freiburg, at the opening of the High-Containment factory.
Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut congratulated the company on its production facility: “Taking resource efficiency and energy management into account, this facility will allow for a highly automated yet sustainable manufacturing process from powder to pill. As Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, I am proud that the company has committed to Freiburg as an attractive location here in Baden-Württemberg.”
Pfizer maintains close links to the Freiburg location, the region and to Baden-Württemberg as a company, a business partner and an employer. Like for its previous investment projects, Pfizer worked primarily with highly specialised regional partner companies for the construction of the HighCon facility. Furthermore, the Pfizer plant currently employs more than 1,800 staff, making it one of the largest private-sector employers in the region. The headcount has doubled over the past 10 years and is forecast to reach 2,000 staff.
Pfizer’s plant of the future in Freiburg © Uli Deck/ Pfizer Pharma GmbH
Valmet Automotive: Germany’s first battery factory in Baden-Württemberg
Finnish automotive supplier Valmet Automotive has built its first battery factory in Germany. The factory is located in Kirchardt near to Heilbronn and will create roughly 160 jobs, of which around 120 will be in production and 40 in administration and development.
On a site that previously housed a printing company, Valmet Automotive has access to manufacturing space of approximately 11,500 square metres at the Kirchardt location. The conversion measures have almost concluded, and the factory is currently in pre-series production. In line with Valmet Automotive’s discerning sustainability targets, Kirchardt will be a carbon-neutral manufacturing location from the outset.
“The upcoming opening of the battery factory in Kirchardt is the next important step in establishing Valmet Automotive as a leading system supplier for battery systems and modules. The Kirchardt location is perfect for two reasons: it allows us to manufacture close to some of our key customers and is also near to our German development locations and our battery test centre in Bad Friedrichshall”, explained Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive.
Valmet Automotive already has two battery factories, located in Salo and Uusikaupunki in Finland. The decision to locate the new battery plant in Baden-Württemberg was made against the backdrop that Valmet Automotive was recently contracted by a German car manufacturer as a Tier 1 system supplier for a battery programme. Part of the contract is to produce the battery packs close to the customer in order to save resources and avoid unnecessary transportation.
Valmet Automotive: Kirchardt battery factory © Valmet Automotive
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