Production of asphalt pavers has started in the new factory of Wirtgen Road Technologies manufacturer Joseph Vögele AG. After a construction period of just 18 months, the world market leader in asphalt pavers now is building its machines for delivery from the most modern paver production facility in the world, in Ludwigshafen on the river Rhine.
The $138 million project was constructed on a 94-acre site. There, some 635,834 square feet is devoted to closed halls in which pavers and screeds are being built and assembled for the world market. Vögele AG can rely on its experienced, existing workforce, as the new factory is located a very short distance from Vögele's former plant in Mannheim.
The new Vögele plant is one of the most significant investments undertaken in the mechanical engineering sector in Europe. The decision to build on a "greenfield site" gave management, engineers and architects freedom in designing the factory layout. As a result, all work flows have been realized and implemented exactly as they would be in an ideal case.
New powder coating plant
A number of major single investments were also undertaken in conjunction with the construction project. The new powder coating plant is one such investment. At $5.8 million, it is the company's biggest investment in machinery. This new plant is particularly eco-friendly, for the coatings are applied without solvents, and consequently without emitting any pollutants.
The new flexible manufacturing system is another outstanding single investment by Vögele, at a total cost of $4.8 million. With this new system, structural steel components within a single machine are stored, drilled and milled together, cutting production time by up to 25 percent.
Another important building on the new site is the new Centre for Training and Technology (CTT). In-house training, as well as further training for operators of the Vögele pavers, will be undertaken in this 32,921 square foot facility.
All training courses will take place under optimum conditions, both functionally and in terms of space. Ultimately, it's anticipated that more than 6,000 participants from around the world will attend its training courses each year.