Tuesday 5th May marked the official opening of the new Bauer production facility at the company headquarters in Esslingen. During the day, guests heard from Bauer's M.D. as well as the Lord Mayor of Esslingen and CEO of Altra Industrial Motion, Bauer's parent company. Guests heard how the facility will act as the flagship for Bauer's new production concept, which increases the flexibility of the company's ability to deliver engineered solutions for all applications on extremely short lead times.
Bauer Gear Motor has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of gear motors since 1927, when the company's founder, Wilhelm Bauer, first began eliminating the transmission shaft from machine tools and production machinery.
Since then it has developed a reputation for producing reliable solutions which are carefully engineered to the requirements of the customer to ensure that the maximum possible efficiency gains are achieved. Bauer has never stopped pushing the boundaries of its product both in terms of technology and manufacturing techniques. Its acquisition by Altra Industrial Motion in 2011 allowed it to expand its global footprint and make investments to advance its engineering facilities and create an integrated, lean manufacturing process which keeps delivery times low, even for completely bespoke, one-off gear motors.
Karl-Peter Simon, Bauer Gear Motor Managing Director, explains: "This new facility represents the next step in Bauer's production concept, which will eventually expand to our key regions around the world. We have adapted our production facilities to operate as one piece flow, moving assembly lines. This prepares us for fast delivery of both small and large customer orders. "We have been able to create a connected factory concept whereby our production facilities in Germany are supported with just-in time deliveries from our production factory in Slovakia. With this concept we are prepared for implementing Industry 4.0. "This means that the two sites are operating on the same production schedule, so there is no delay in the delivery process between customer sign-off of the order and the completion of the order. This will allow us to reduce our current standard production time for configurable gear motors from 10 days to 5 days."
Carl Christenson, Altra Industrial Motion CEO, adds: "As a business we believe that growth comes from investment. Bauer Gear Motor offers our customers the most reliable, efficient Gear Motor solution whether they need a batch run of standard products or a specialised solution e.g. customized motors or shafts. Our investment will allow it to continue to improve our flexibility: to work more closely with customers, to reduce lead times and to grow the customer base around the world. "We are committed to supporting the continued growth of Bauer both in Germany and around the world. We intend to continue investing in the Slovakian factory and have plans to extend the new production concept to our facilities in the USA, China and Brazil."
The new facilities in the meantime are wholly owned by Bauer Gear Motor GmbH and cover an area of approximately 30,000m2 in Esslingen, Bauer's home town. In addition to the new production facilities, the new building includes open plan offices, a state-of-the-art conference centre and new canteen area with its own kitchen for the staff. The implementation of energy efficiency measures means that energy requirements on-site will be reduced by 30%.
Esslingen's mayor, Dr Jürgen Zieger, explains why the new building is not just good for Bauer and its customer base, but also for the town: "Bauer Gear Motor is a part of this town's industrial heritage. Its 230 jobs typify Esslingen as an industrial location, showing the strength of the regional economy. By investing in Esslingen, Bauer is showing its commitment to the town and its people, which bolsters the strength of our regional economy." Bauer sees the development in 'Lean' as an opportunity to work more closely with its customers and become a part of their value chain - working in time with their production schedule to eliminate the need to hold product in stock. The company would welcome its customers to visit the new facilities to learn more about how the new production concept can help them to grow their business and improve their processes.