Heidelberg Wiesloch-Walldorf Site Stands for Precision Mechanical Engineering

(PresseBox) ( Heidelberg, )
During a press event marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) Wiesloch-Walldorf site, Dr. Jürgen Rautert, Director for Engineering and Manufacturing at the company, stressed that the Wiesloch-Walldorf plant has stood, and will continue to stand, for quality mechanical engineering and cutting-edge technology in the printing press industry.

Heidelberg is currently manufacturing around 65 printing units each day at its Wiesloch-Walldorf plant, which employs some 6,500 staff. Since its opening in 1957, the company has invested over one billion Euro in the site. The continuous expansion of the site, which has grown from 385,000 square meters to approximately 860,000 square meters today, has been driven by the technological development of new products and by the ongoing expansion of production capacity.

"The over 400,000 high-quality and reliable printing units delivered by the Wiesloch-Walldorf plant have played a major role in helping Heidelberg achieve and assert its leading position on the world markets," added Dr. Rautert.

The construction of hall 11 for a new generation of larger-format sheetfed offset presses marks a new chapter in the plant's growth story. "We are investing about 45 million Euro in Wiesloch-Walldorf as part of this strategy, which we see as another leap into the future," comments Dr. Rautert. The high capacity utilization level at present and the move into the new press format enabled the company to take on around 400 new employees last year.

Heidelberg Production System raises competitiveness
Stephan Plenz, Head of Production at Heidelberg remarked that - as a "hotbed of mechanical engineering" - the southwest of Germany continues to play a key role for Heidelberg in the production of quality presses and in establishing manufacturing and supply partnerships. He added that the demands placed on Heidelberg staff and partners are high and mean that full use needs to be made of networks in the region, international suppliers, and the experience that has been gathered over 150 years of business. A large proportion of value created by Heidelberg takes place in Germany. The company's export share has been over 85 percent for a number of years.

Alongside other achievements, Heidelberg Production System (HPS), which was launched at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site last year, helps to keep unit labor costs competitive through annual improvements in productivity of five percent, continue raising product quality, and safeguard jobs. "The simplistic formula - more productivity equals fewer jobs - is fundamentally flawed. Efficient production strengthens our company's position on the market and that alone can safeguard employment," explains Plenz.

Heidelberg site at Wiesloch-Walldorf
World's largest and most modern printing press factory and largest production site in the global Heidelberg production network

- Production start: 1957
- Area: 860,000 square meters = 88 soccer fields
- Effective building area 510,000 square meters
- Employees: 6,440, of which 4,860 shop-floor and 1,580 white collar staff
- Employees in production: 1,450
- Employees in assembly: 3,355, of which 2,000 shop-floor staff, very high proportion of skilled workers
- Employees in assembly need to manage assembly processes extending over 3,000 minutes
- Assembly accounts for 70 percent of the production area
- Proportion of trainees of total workforce 5.7 percent
- Since 2001, tested and certified to international standard ISO 14001
- World Logistics Center (WLC)
- Training center
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