|Design picture of new production building, Copyright: ATP Architects.|
Dornbirn / Austria – The Zumtobel Group is to invest some EUR 20 million in the expansion of the lighting factory at its headquarters in Dornbirn. A new production building is to be constructed on the existing premises of its Schweizerstraße site by mid-2013. This investment is linked with the integration of the current raw material and semi-finished product warehouse in Hohenems into the Schweizerstraße site and the transfer of the finished goods warehouse to an external logistics provider.
Growth strategy motivates investment
The decision to invest was motivated by the Zumtobel Group’s global growth strategy initiated by the Management Board in the spring. By 2020, the Group plans to increase production volume at the Dornbirn lighting factory by around 70% – which will include amongst others increasing numbers of innovative LED luminaires. In order to achieve this, the production facility, which currently covers an area of 30,000 square metres, is to be enlarged by 30%. The investment will also have a positive impact on jobs. The workforce is expected to expand through the creation of up to 200 new jobs by 2020. As things stand, this increase in headcount is expected to be implemented on a continuous basis and will be dependent on economic development.
“With this investment, Zumtobel AG is making a clear commitment to its headquarters in Dornbirn,” emphasises CEO Harald Sommerer. “We see great potential in the Zumtobel brand for dynamic, global growth. The Dornbirn location has a key role to play in the implementation of this global growth strategy. Despite the fact that we are currently operating in a very uncertain economic environment, we have decided to invest in the necessary structures well in advance. We are, however, convinced that by building on the strengths of the Zumtobel brand as well as the on the growth drivers LED and energy efficiency we can expand our market shares worldwide.”
10,000 square metre expansion
Plans envisage expansion of the Schweizerstraße premises on the north side (Erlosenstraße entrance) through the addition of a new building covering approximately 10,000 square metres, which will include more than 8,000 square metres of production space. The new hall will be directly connected to the prefabrication hall. The current office wing, already somewhat advanced in years, is to be demolished. The new building will provide 1,600 square metres of office space and will be ready for use by mid-2013.
Optimised production process
As part of the investment, Zumtobel will also be pursuing the goal of significantly increasing the efficiency of material supply and production processes. To this end, the current external warehouse in Hohenems for raw materials and semi-finished products will be integrated into the Zumtobel plant in Schweizerstraße. In addition, part of the investment is earmarked for a new automated warehouse for small parts and the adaptation of the current automated pallet warehouse
Transfer of the finished goods warehouse within the greater Lower Rhine valley area
The planned growth will also mean huge challenges in the area of distribution logistics. As the current finished goods warehouse at the plant is already operating close to it capacity limits, this warehouse will be transferred to an external logistics provider. The company is currently in the process of holding discussions with various providers and the respective authorities. Zumtobel’s declared aim is to arrive at a solution in the greater Lower Rhine valley area in order to safeguard the jobs of affected employees. This decision will have a positive impact on local residents living close to the plant. It is estimated that the transfer of the finished goods warehouse will mean roughly 120 fewer truck trips through the area on a daily basis.
Facts & figures on the Schweizerstraße site
Current production space: 30,000 sqm
Additional production space from 2013: 8,000 sqm
Current office space for operations: 1,700 sqm
Additional office space from 2013: 500 sqm
Current headcount on site: 1,100 (full-time equivalent, incl. contract workers, without apprentices)
Planned increase in plant personnel by 2020: up to 200 new jobs
Investment sum: approx. EUR 20 million excluding machines and equipment
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