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Starting out with 22 employees, ENGEL's personnel in Stuttgart has more than doubled over the subsidiary's five-year existence. "We will have 50 employees by the end of this year", reports Claus Wilde, Managing Director of ENGEL Deutschland at the Stuttgart location, during the trade conference on surface technology to which ENGEL extended invitations on the occasion of the anniversary. "Five years ago, we set out with the goal of establishing an information and communication hub for the injection moulding industry in the south-west of Germany. We have achieved this goal." From the outset, the subsidiary has regularly organized trade conferences, technology workshops and seminars. Last year alone, 900 guests participated in these events. In addition, there are individually organised customer visits for project discussions or tests in the technology centre. With space for seven large production cells, the ENGEL's technology centre in Stuttgart is one of the largest within the group of companies.
Baden-Württemberg enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide as a high-tech centre, and the plastics processing industry in the region is making a major contribution to this. Even prior to the establishment of the Stuttgart technology forum, ENGEL had a large customer base in the south-west of Germany, which was initially serviced by the Nuremberg subsidiary. With the establishment of ENGEL Stuttgart five years ago, the machine builder has decreased the distance to ENGEL for its customers in the south-west.
"The volume of orders and sales in the region have increased over the past five years", continues Wilde, identifying two main reasons. On the one hand, ENGEL was able to win new customers in the south-west of Germany. On the other hand, development of the industry in the state is particularly dynamic. Baden-Württemberg and especially the region of Stuttgart are Europe-wide pioneers in the area of electro-mobility, which requires more and more metal/plastic composite components for its new drive concepts. "With the ENGEL insert injection moulding machines, which are being offered with clamping forces of up to 400 tonnes, and our high degree of expertise in automation, we are offering solutions specifically tailored to this market segment", emphasises Wilde.
For many customers, ENGEL delivery of single-source, highly integrated and automated production cells is an important factor in selecting ENGEL as a partner. ENGEL in Stuttgart works closely with the Business Units at the Schwertberg headquarters and, in addition, has developed a strong network of local systems and development partners in Baden-Württemberg. "Geographic proximity to each other often accelerates project planning", states Wilde. For example, this is again and again apparent in medical technology, an area in which the ENGEL Deutschland Technologieforum in Stuttgart is generating above-average profits from the growth of the sector. ENGEL employs its own medical expert at the Stuttgart location.
By continuously adding personnel, ENGEL Stuttgart is addressing the growing number of orders and increasing demands. Of the currently just under 50 employees, 20 are working on-site at the subsidiary, with all others working mainly at the customers' premises. "In the coming years, we will also continue to grow in the area of service", announces Achim Würth, Head of Service at ENGEL in Stuttgart. "The trend towards increased process integration, digitalisation and networking is resulting in our working more and more closely together with our customers throughout the entire life cycle of the injection moulding machines and systems solutions. For this reason, we need even more highly qualified employees. In the continuing development of the location, our customers' satisfaction is always the top priority.
In 2017, the Stuttgart Technology Forum has also shored up its application-specific know-how with additional employees, and opened its own MuCell competence centre.
This year, ENGEL Stuttgart will further expand the inject 4.0 area of focus with a self-optimising injection moulding machine and interactive presentation spaces for the areas of smart service and smart production. In addition, the processing of liquid silicone (LSR) will be established as an additional main area of focus. A LSR production cell will be put into operation soon.
During the trade conference, all the exhibits in the Stuttgart Technology Forum can be experienced live. In addition to the fixed areas of focus, other applications will respectively address the subject of the conference. Theory and practice go hand in hand at all ENGEL events. "Each time, our guests take away a great deal of inspiration and tips for their own daily operations", says Claus Wilde. "We also make sure to provide ample opportunity for networking and the exchange of ideas." This information and communication hub again and again attracts processors from other regions in Germany, as well as from Switzerland and Austria, to Stuttgart.