October 26, 2015
The market for high-quality flowmeters continues to experience strong growth. Endress+Hauser Flowtec, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flowmeter technology, has expanded its Cernay plant in Alsace to take advantage of this growth. “By adding 10,000 square meters of production space, we are strengthening the Cernay location for the long haul,” emphasizes Managing Director Bernd-Josef Schäfer.
Endress+Hauser has recently started producing vortex flowmeters in Cernay as well. In addition, the space requirements continue to increase for the production of electromagnetic flowmeters and their measuring tubes of up to 2.4 meters in size. “This is why we have bought up an existing factory building right next to our site,” says Schäfer. A total of 4.2 million euros has been invested in the purchase and renovation of that building and its 9,000 square meters of floor space.
A new building with nearly 1,000 square meters of space at a cost of 1.2 million euros was also needed to relieve the bottleneck from lack of space in the existing production line. “This means we can now handle significantly higher part volume and design our production processes with greater autonomy and less dependence on other production processes,” explains Matthias Aschberger, Plant Manager in Cernay. The new building has been equipped with separate loading docks for delivery trucks to help with this.
Work on the buildings finished on October 23rd, 2015. The dedication ceremony for the new building and the extension was held in Cernay with Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group; Klaus Endress, President of the Board of Directors and Bernd-Josef Schäfer, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Flowtec AG in attendance. Guests of honor included many representatives from politics and business, such as Monsieur Daniel Mérignargues, Sous-Préfet de Thann-Guebwiller; Monsieur Michel Sordi, Député-Maire de Cernay; Monsieur Jean-Paul Omeyer, Vice-Président de la Région Alsace; Monsieur Raphaël Schellenberger, Conseiller Départemental du Haut-Rhin; Annick Lutenbacher, Conseillère Départementale du Haut-Rhin and Monsieur Jean Rottner, Maire de Mulhouse.
Sustained growth since 1991
For decades, demand for high-quality flowmeters in the process industry has shown no signs of slowing down. This is because gases and liquids being transported through pipelines in massive quantities every day need to be collected, measured and billed with increasing accuracy, as a result of legal provisions that constantly define stricter and stricter quality requirements worldwide. This is why consistently expanding the production space in Cernay has continued to be an important topic over the years for Endress+Hauser. The production site started with just 16 employees in 1991. That number has grown to more than 360 employees today.
Standalone production processes
Alongside the expansion of the production space, one of the production lines has also been restructured to significantly improve performance. This now makes it possible to lay out assembly workflows with greater clarity and to avoid unnecessary material movement between individual workstations. This allows for greater efficiency in the use of expensive machinery and equipment.
Working together with the ESAT workshop for integrated employment
In Cernay, Endress+Hauser has been working together with the ESAT workshop as an external supplier for many years. The work carried out by ESAT includes packaging, preassembly of small parts and prefabrication of housings. “In our experience, people with disabilities can provide exceptionally high-quality work,” reports Aschberger. These workstations are now being integrated into expanded production for logistics reasons. “This lets us shorten the travel paths significantly, allowing for greater flexibility in the work structure,” says the plant manager. Each morning a bus drives up to twelve employees from the ESAT workshop to the Endress+Hauser site in Cernay.