The automation company Pilz has opened the Peter Pilz Production and Logistics Centre at its headquarters in Ostfildern. The new building covers a total area of around 13,500 m2 and at EUR 20 million is the largest single investment in the history of this family business. As a result, not only is the company enlarging its production area by 50 per cent, it is also expanding its headquarters into the Pilz Campus.
Expansion of headquarters into Pilz Campus – Renate Pilz: “Values create future.” Peter Pilz Production and Logistics Centre opened
The Peter Pilz Production and Logistics Centre was built within 16 months. With 6,900 m2 of production area, around 4,000 m2 of office space and 2,600 m2 of ancillary areas, the building provides space for 390 staff. In addition to Production and Logistics it will also house all the departments related to production, including Production Technology, Information Technology, Quality Management and Purchasing under one roof.
“We are delighted to be able to invest right here at our headquarters and so continue our growth. Firstly because we have deep roots in this region. And also because we are expanding the headquarters into the Pilz Campus, where all departments operate together closely and efficiently to the benefit of our customers. This cooperation is important for the success of our family business,” explained Renate Pilz at the official opening attended by some 200 guests.
“The Campus highlights how values create future,” stressed Renate Pilz. “Trust, reliability and the courage to innovate are vital success factors at Pilz.” The official opening had been preceded by a staff party on September 26, 2015 to mark the inauguration of the building.
In the new manufacturing site Pilz will be producing relays, control systems, sensors and drive technology for safety and automation. These find use not just in factory floors, for instance in presses, machine tools and industrial robots, but also in rail technology, for building automation or in control systems for cable cars such as the one serving Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain, and in fairground rides such as Vienna’s Prater Park.
In the new building, Pilz attaches considerable importance to an ergonomic working environment for the staff and a flexible production layout. Interdisciplinary workshops involving the production technology department and production staff helped to optimise the production working environment even at the design stage, creating efficient and ergonomic production processes.. In the offices, air-conditioned rooms, an ingenious acoustic concept with sound absorbers as well as transparent room dividers and underfloor heating create a pleasant working atmosphere.
In common with the other buildings on the Pilz Campus, ecology enjoys a high profile here, too: near-surface geothermal energy, high-efficiency building insulation and heat recovery result in high energy efficiency and low CO2 emissions.
The architecturally open-plan hall, which has almost no supports, allows the production processes to be organised with optimum flexibility. The individual production units are arranged in a horseshoe pattern to guarantee a swift flow of goods and information.
Industrie 4.0: Pilz backs connectivity
This flow of information is a hallmark of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or “Industrie 4.0”, at Pilz. Production at Pilz is integrated with the upstream and downstream processes and procedures. The legacy production operations already featured IT-based production processes, such as an intelligent RFID-supported workpiece carrier. These processes have been adopted and now gradually supplemented. In Ostfildern, Pilz is optimising production process control by specifically collating and processing machine data. That avoids disruptions or downtime. Work documentation will in future be stored in a Pilz cloud to keep it always up to date and also make it available on mobile devices. Other firm moves to bring about IT and production convergence are taking shape in the “Pilz Think Tank 4.0”: This makes the resources for implementing the Fourth Industrial Revolution at Pilz available to IT and production technology experts.
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