Wilbert unveils new factory

By Euan Youdale23 September 2008

Wilbert's new production plant in Waldlaubersheim, Germany

Wilbert's new production plant in Waldlaubersheim, Germany

Tower crane manufacturer Wilbert Turmkrane has opened its new €20 million (US$ 30 million) production plant in Waldlaubersheim, Germany.

Hundreds of customers and industry professionals gathered at the 144,000 square metre factory for a celebration event.

In his speech Franz-Rudolf Wilbert described how the company moved into the premises in the second quarter of 2008, following a year-long build. “Deliberations as to the business location we should choose ranged from Poland to the Czech Republic and Hungary. We finally decided to go for Germany and Waldlaubersheim, despite the higher costs involved.

“We are a family concern and rooted to our native soil and did not wish to inflict a change of location on our highly motivated staff who have been with us for many years. In this rural area where the infrastructure is not as well developed as in major industrial cities, newly qualified staff are easier to find.

“We are convinced we will be manufacturing more cheaply in a few years’ time here in Germany than in the neighbouring countries to the east. Over the last two years, besides the enormous increase in wage costs, expenditure has also risen due to currency fluctuation, by 25%.”

The factory can now produce 20 to 30 additional cranes a year, says Wilbert, using its own steel fabrications. In future, additional steel will be purchased from the company’s previous suppliers.

The powder coating area, which is still under construction, is expected to open at the beginning of 2009.

Wilbert told IC that, once fully operational, the factory will produce about 70 cranes a year and is capable of producing a further 130 a year, if required.

“This depends on the customers and the steel, as it is difficult to get it.” He also notes that expanding too quickly would be a mistake, and he prefers the option of steady investment and growth.

More than 60% of the company’s output is exported, with Holland receiving the most, added Wilbert. Some 70 orders have also come from Hungary and the company showed its WT200 E-Tronic model at the mid-September ConExpo Russia exhibition, which “is the market of future.”

Wilbert added that new projects were on the horizon, and that new higher capacity cranes would be produced at the factory for the energy generation market.


Factory statistics: In square metres

Area plot:

144,000

Building:

20,000

Steel fabrication:

2,900

Mechanics:

2,300

Powder coating:

3,200

Store room:

3,300

Final assembly:

4,200

Electronics:

300

Administration:

1,200

Store area:

28,000

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