The Schunk Group has ceremoniously laid the foundation stone for the new production facility to be built in Heuchelheim. The technology company has invested around 30 million euros in the project.
“The new production facility whose foundation stone we have gathered here today to lay will soon be the site of innovative graphite production,” said Dr. Arno Roth (CEO of the Schunk Group) at the ceremony. In attendance were the Mayor of Heuchelheim Lars Burkhard Steinz, as well as numerous other politicians and representatives of companies involved in the venture.
All in all, Schunk will invest about 30 million euros in the new facility and, by extension, in the Middle Hessian branch of the company as well. This safeguards existing Schunk jobs in the region while creating new ones, Dr. Roth went on to say. “In order to continue to be successful in Germany, a country of high wages, we need to be more productive, more customer-oriented, and above all offer better technology for our products than our competitors.” To achieve this goal, Schunk requires a constant stream of innovations. “And we have that, particularly here in Middle Hesse.”
One of these innovations is the groundbreaking quick-charging system for electric buses, Schunk Smart Charging, which has since been put into use around the world, from Finland and Canada to Japan. Another example is a new ultrasonic metal welding process for binding aluminum and copper cables. “This patented technology makes it possible to use aluminum instead of copper cables in our cars’ power supply systems, which reduces weight – a desirable factor for the automotive industry,” Dr. Roth went on. He then mentioned other Schunk innovations such as a pioneering new carbon foam that opens up totally new possibilities for heat management in electronic car components, a process for manufacturing sintered parts from soft-magnetic raw materials, and the newest generation of climate-controlled test consoles from Weiss Technik, which have set the global technological standard for test systems.
“Middle Hesse is the heart and soul of Schunk”
Schunk has close ties to the Middle Hesse region, particularly the Heuchelheim location. “Middle Hesse is where we are headquartered and it’s the heart and soul of our company. Today, more than 3,300 employees work at our four Middle Hessian sites, with just under 2,000 of them working in Heuchelheim. This makes us one of the biggest employers in the region,” Dr. Roth noted, providing key figures. The importance of these Middle Hessian branches is also reflected in the Group’s investment priorities. “Over the last five years we’ve invested more than 150 million euros in our Middle Hessian facilities. Now we’re adding another 30 million euros to that sum.”
A production floor spanning more than 4,000 square meters
By August 2019 Heuchelheim will thus be home to a state-of-the-art production facility measuring 85 meters in length, 51 in width and 13 in height. 22 new office workspaces will also be created, as well as a spacious recreational area designed to house up to 250 employees. The latter is also intended for employees working in the nearby production building. In total, the new building will consist of 3,500 cubic meters of concrete, nearly 400 tons of structural steel, and 45 kilometers of cabling.
100 years of Schunk in Heuchelheim
“Heuchelheim will continue to be of central importance for Schunk,” Dr. Roth emphasized. As of 2018, Schunk has maintained its Heuchelheim facility for exactly 100 years. The company celebrated this milestone the weekend before the foundation stone ceremony with a family festival for its staff at the “Windhof” (Wind Yard, as the property has traditionally been known by Heuchelheim locals). “When Ludwig Schunk moved the headquarters of his new company from Fulda to Heuchelheim in 1918 he was looking for two things: firstly, the best conditions for his production, and secondly dedicated and talented employees,” Dr. Roth noted. “The event we’re celebrating today is a testament to the fact that he was able to find both of those things here.”