Q&A with Christoph Küster

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Klingelnberg is in the process of constructing a new assembly hall. Why did you feel the need to pursue this project?

In 2019, we had decided to bundle the assembly and manufacturing activities of the Klingelnberg Group. The choice fell on Hückeswagen, which was already the largest site by then. The construction of the new assembly hall was therefore the last logical step within our efficiency enhancement program.

What types of assembly will be done in the new facility?

The new assembly hall is highly flexible. Thus, all types of gear machines can be built there. However, the hall is particularly suitable for large profile grinding machines, e.g. for the wind-power industry — here, high demands are imposed on foundations and air conditioning.

Do you see a growth in the need for large cylindrical gear machines?

In any case. The targets for reducing CO2 require regenerative energies — wind power is an important component here. But the resulting need to store electrical energy, e.g. for electromobility, also leads to increased mining activity and thus to the need for large cylindrical machines.

Construction continues on Klingelnberg’s new assembly hall. (Courtesy: Klingelnberg)

What about the new assembly hall makes it stand out compared to similar facilities?

To enable assembly of even the heaviest and most sensitive machinery, the halls will be fully air conditioned and equipped with two bridge cranes — one with a 25-ton load capacity and one with a 40-ton capacity — and 10 wall-mounted traveling cranes with a 3.5-ton capacity. The hall will be built to meet the climate-efficiency requirements according to KfW 55 — a standard that is not particularly common for industrial buildings at present. By implementing this efficiency standard, the energy demand and consequently the CO2 emissions will be reduced. In addition, the plant technology was designed in such a way that currently 60 percent of the thermal energy is generated from renewable energies — an important step toward protecting the climate. The new assembly hall, which will occupy a floor space of approximately 8,000 square meters including offices, will be home to over 100 employees in the future. The new site will also have its own employee cafeteria.

Why did you pick Hückeswagen for the assembly hall’s location?

Hückeswagen is our “traditional” location — Klingelnberg has been producing here since the beginning of the 20th century. We are deeply rooted in this region. Access to qualified labor is high, and as the largest employer in the town, our brand profile is high. In addition, we still own industrial land in Hückeswagen on a scale that would allow further growth if necessary.

When do you see the assembly hall becoming fully operational?

We are planning with autumn/winter this year. We are very much looking forward to it. 

MORE INFO  klingelnberg.com