Heidelberg Opens New Assembly Hall at Wiesloch-Walldorf Site
Press release from the issuing company
September 15, 2007 -- Joined by Baden-Württemberg state leader Günther H. Oettinger and prominent guests, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) today (September 15, 2007) officially opened the new assembly hall - Hall 11 - at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. The hall measures 35,000 square meters (375,000 square feet) - equivalent to almost five soccer fields - and will be used to assemble a new generation of large-format presses, the Speedmaster XL 145 and Speedmaster XL 162. Heidelberg invested around 45 million Euro in this, making it the largest input of funds into the Wiesloch-Walldorf site for the last ten years.
"By opening our state-of-the-art assembly hall at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site, we are pressing ahead with the growth of the world's largest press factory," said Bernhard Schreier, Chief Executive Officer of Heidelberg. "Our highly qualified staff and innovative production processes will continue to represent quality mechanical engineering and cutting-edge technology in the press industry in the future too."
Construction of Hall 11 was completed in around 14 months by the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft HDM Neubau Halle 11", which consisted of Bilfinger Berger AG and Max Bögl Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG. The foundation stone was laid on May 15, 2006. Assembly is due to commence in the new hall at the end of September 2007. Heidelberg intends to expand its existing product portfolio upwards with the new Speedmaster XL 145 and Speedmaster XL 162 large-format presses that will be built in this hall. These new presses will support sheets twice the format of existing Heidelberg presses and can produce up to 40 A4 pages on the front and reverse sides of a single sheet.
"With the new format classes, we are looking to tap into new markets and, in particular, reinforce our commitment to packaging printing," explained Dr. Jürgen Rautert, Management Board Member for Engineering and Manufacturing at Heidelberg. The company plans to unveil the new format classes at drupa 2008 in Dusseldorf.
The assembly hall provides state-of-the-art logistics and world-leading series production for presses. The architecture of Hall 11 matches the products manufactured in Wiesloch-Walldorf - the entire hall being designed like a press, with paper feeder, printing units, and paper delivery. Heidelberg's image provided the inspiration for the architecture in Hall 11, emphasizing the quality of the presses produced there and the company's commitment to innovation.
The new Hall 11 represents a kind of "anniversary gift" for the site. At the same time as the new assembly hall was being officially opened, the company was also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. Currently the world's largest and most advanced printing press factory, it was officially opened in 1957. To commemorate the occasion, the company invited staff, relatives and friends to a family day. Some 40,000 visitors were welcomed to the 860,000 square meters (9,250,000 square feet) area over two days.
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