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The key to the future

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Ceremonial key handover for the Smart Factory at the Wilopark Dortmund

Dortmund. The key to the Smart Factory of the Wilo Group, Dortmund-based manufacturer of pumps and pump system solutions, was symbolically handed over on August 8th 2019 during the opening ceremony. After a construction period of 36 months, the move to the ultra-modern production facility has now begun, and the new, digitalized factory will start operations in October. "With pride and joy we celebrate today one of the most important milestones of Wilo and especially of the WiloPark history", commented Georg Weber, Chief Technology Officer at Wilo Group, during his opening speech.

In the presence of over 80 project participants, architects, representatives of the various building trades, service providers and Wilo employees, the official starting signal for the move to the factory of the future was given with the handover. "The Ruhr area has the potential to become the largest smart agglomeration in Europe. Analogous to the decentralised structure of the region, numerous projects are already being set up to develop in this direction," says Georg Weber. "Our main production and administration location will not only be of outstanding importance to us, but will also represent our contribution to a developing 'Smart Urban Area´ Ruhrgebiet'.” In Weber's sight, the decision in favour of the established location in Dortmund Hörde is a clear commitment to the region: "Dortmund has been Wilo's home since the company was founded in 1872. With the completely new construction of the WiloPark on an area of over 26 football pitches, we are showing our historically grown solidarity with the city and the people who live and invest here in our future as well as in Dortmund's".

With the Smart Factory, the Dortmund-based company is opening a production and development facility with industry 4.0 standard and a gross floor area of over 55,000 m2. The impressive building offers state-of-the-art workplaces and will in future be the flagship for the innovations of the technology specialist. "Smart production will not only crosslink machines and workstations, but as a symbol of our pioneering spirit it offers the ideal environment for creativity, future-oriented work and new ideas," says Weber. Starting in September, the first skilled employees will move into their new work place, and the first pump is scheduled to come off the assembly line at the end of October. Concluding his speech, Weber thanked the employees involved as well as the construction partners for their commitment and good cooperation.

On schedule and budget
The largest construction project in the company's history has been carefully planned for seven years. In order to create the necessary conditions for the new site, extensive soil preparation work and explosive ordnance clearance had to be carried out. "In view of the complexity of the project, we are delighted that we are right on schedule and on budget," says Martin Linge-Boom, head of the Wilo construction team. "This is a special and emotional day for us, as the handover represents the culmination of a successful and outstanding cooperation between all those involved," says Holger Herchenhein, overall project manager of WiloPark. The complete relocation to the Smart Factory should be completed by the end of the year.

Company anniversary 2022
From the first quarter of next year, administrative staff will also gradually move into the new office building. "In three years' time we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary. At this point, the construction project should have been completed in its entirety and will at the same time set the standard for the future of the company during the historic celebrations," says Georg Weber.

Largest industrial construction project in NRW
With WiloPark, Wilo Group is currently building a completely new headquarters on 194,000 m2 at its Dortmund location. WiloPark is currently the largest industrial construction project in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Production, administration, product development and customer service will again be brought together at a single location in the Ruhr area.