Bomag last week announced plans to build a modern roller drum facility, an expansion of its main factory in Boppard, Germany. The 124,000-square-foot facility will cost approximately US $34 million, making it the largest single investment in the 51-year history of the company.
“Over the last few years Bomag has enjoyed tremendous growth,” said Ralf Junker, production manager at Bomag GmbH. “In just four years our turnover has grown from US $574 million in financial year 2004 to US $907 million in 2007. That is over 50 percent. Although we also have plants in Italy, the USA and China, we are focusing on increasing production in Boppard as well. We have now reached the limit of our capacity here. We must expand.”
In spite of a declining U.S. market and the economic slow-down in Western Europe, Bomag will use the new plant to prepare for further growth in the booming markets of Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
One aspect of the investment includes the expansion of the Boppard site with the purchase of a neighboring 129,000-square-foot property. Construction will begin on the new drum plant at the beginning of 2009, and completion is planned for early 2010.
The new facility will double Bomag’s current capacity. An independent plant within a plant, it will operate in response to customer orders using the latest energy-saving, cost-efficient, ergonomic and worker-friendly design methods. The new plant will feature heat recovery systems, a photovoltaic system for generating electricity, innovative production technology, clean-room assembly and process optimization.
Whereas current production areas are located apart from each other, the new plant will consolidate everything onto one site. This will reduce in-house plant and forklift traffic, allowing materials to be stored close to assembly. State-of-the-art logistics for material handling and supply, greater use of robots and driverless transport systems, and a high level of automation will reduce costs and increase Bomag’s competitiveness over the long term.
In spite of all the automation, the new factory’s focus is still people-oriented. Production is based on the principles of group work, individual responsibility and freedom to make individual decisions. The short routes between areas are driven by the need to have materials in close proximity to their use. Robots will carry out work such as washing or spray-painting drums. The increased automation takes the pressure off staff but does not lead to less employment. On the contrary, once the last expansion phase is reached, the new plant will employ 160 workers, 50 more than currently.
"This new plant means we can increase our capacity and the quality of our products,” Junker said. ”We will also optimize our cost structures, raise the quality of workplaces and create more flexibility for our customers and suppliers. It's an important building block for our future."
Bomag is a global market leader in the field of compaction technology. The company, which is situated in Boppard, Germany, and has belonged to the FAYAT Group since 2005, produces machines for soil, asphalt and refuse compaction as well as stabilizers/recyclers, milling machines and finishers.