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VOLLMER fires the starting shot for another 111 years 2020-01-29to overview
For the company's 111th anniversary, sharpening specialist VOLLMER is paving the way for the next century and beyond by further expanding its technological prowess and growth strategy. In the Biberach "Flugplatz" industrial area, the machine manufacturer has laid the foundations for its new headquarters. The building will be completed by 2023, providing space for substantial growth with room for approximately 580 employees that will accommodate the 45,000 square metres facility. VOLLMER is uniting its logistics, production, administration, research and development operations under a single roof to streamline and harmonise operations. The new build will make transparent architecture, short distances, efficient energy management and digital infrastructure, amongst other things, a reality – in order to strengthen company optimisation potential and innovative strength.
"With the new build, VOLLMER is making a clear commitment to the Biberach site, and a promise to the employees and people of the region," says Ralf Miller, Lord Mayor of the town of Biberach. "With the new building, VOLLMER is combining creativity with its willingness to innovate, and is setting out into a new world of work with a future-oriented energy concept."
Once VOLLMER, always VOLLMER!
Innovative strength, openness and team spirit are just three of the values that have been shaping the success story of Swabian sharpening specialist VOLLMER for 111 years. Once VOLLMER, always VOLLMER! This creed applies to many of the more than 800 employees worldwide, with many current employees being the fifth generation of their family to work for the company. The Biberach-based machine manufacturer is now building new company headquarters, so that future generations can also secure and pursue fulfilling future careers at VOLLMER. Not far from today's site in Ehinger Straße, the new building is being constructed in the "Flugplatz" industrial area.
The new headquarters will be ready for occupancy in 2023 and it will cover an area of around 45,000 square metres, with the ground level of the building consisting of a single autonomous factory unit. This offers an advantage over the existing site, which has naturally grown into a divided infrastructure over the course of 100 years. Not only has this meant long distances between various buildings, but the site is also now in need of a complete renovation. Moreover, the growth of the site means it is getting close to its physical limits. To continue to remain successful, competitive and innovative as a technological leader for grinding and erosion machines, more generous facilities are crucial. With the "Flugplatz" industrial area, VOLLMER has acquired land that measures around ten hectares, something that is ideally suited for future expansion.
Everything in one place
The ground level of the new company building connects the entire flow chain of logistical processes from incoming goods, storage, production, assembly, testing and outgoing goods. In various places, the building rises over several floors. VOLLMER will house its administration, research and development departments in the office building. The architecture is characterised by generous glazing, which stands for the transparency and openness put into practice by the medium-sized company. A cafeteria and meeting points for the staff are integrated. There, staff can find not only individual workspaces but also "marketplaces" for spontaneous discussions, meetings and creative teamwork. Individual offices with doors are few and far between.
The building reflects continuity and openness, just as it does the innovative strength and team spirit of the regionally rooted family business. The new construction also takes into account aspects entailed by the digital era. Not only is VOLLMER going down new paths in communication, but it is also integrating IT disciplines, such as IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0, into research work. Paperless administration is just as much a part of this as the development of digital machines and applications, which VOLLMER is consolidating with the V@dison initiative.
Responsibility across generations – an exemplary energy concept
Warm in winter and cool in summer – VOLLMER is achieving this in the new building via thermal building core activation. Geothermal heat and groundwater are tapped as seasonal energy stores, to ensure comfortable temperatures in the workshops and office rooms in an environmentally friendly way. To do so, some 175 downhole heat exchangers are lowered around 200 metres down into the ground. Warm or cool water then flows through the tubes integrated into ceilings and floors, depending on the time of year.
"We have made intensive use of the past few years to make VOLLMER ready for the challenges of the next 111 years and beyond. We have consolidated and expanded our portfolio. In addition, we were able to secure a long-term future as a family company via the Sieglinde Vollmer Foundation," says Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of the VOLLMER Group. "Despite the currently challenging economic situation, we are investing anticyclically. This way, with the new construction, we have a solid infrastructure for when the economy picks up again."