Würth builds innovation center - groundbreaking ceremony for state-of-the-art research and development center
Adolf Würth GmbH & Co KG, parent company of the globally operating Würth Group, is building a research and development center in Künzelsau. The groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated on Friday, 29 March 2019.
The investment volume amounts to the tune of 70 million euros. State-of-the-art laboratories and workshops will be built on an area of around 15,000 square meters. A climate chamber, the latest 3D printers and seismic test rigs for anchor technology offer a wide range of options to strengthen and advance internal research in the long run.
A cluster of knowledge and experience
Approximately 250 people will be working in the innovation center to implement ideas and make them fit for the future: employees from the research and development department of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG and from Group companies active in the manufacturing sector, as well as external researchers. The cooperation with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT and the universities of Innsbruck and Stuttgart will create a cluster of knowledge and know-how. And this is precisely the special feature of the innovation center: “These university cooperations allow us to take a scientific approach, thus opening up entirely new opportunities. We want to develop even more from a trading company to a manufacturer,” says Thomas Klenk, Managing Director for Product, Purchasing and Export at Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, explaining the motivation behind the large-scale project. “We aim to significantly shorten our innovation cycles in order to bring our new and further developments to the market even faster and to be able to offer our customers solutions with genuine added value.”
Fields of expertise increase manufacturer potential
The world market leader for assembly and fastening materials, Würth focuses its research and development activities on these fields of expertise: fastening technology, screws, anchors, chemicals, power tools and systems. Würth has already acquired know-how as a manufacturer—some 25 percent of all products are already produced in the Group today. The construction of the technology and innovation center aims at exploiting these opportunities even more effectively.
The answer to the shortage of skilled workers: being an attractive employer
The innovation center helps Würth to be more attractive as an employer and counteract the shortage of skilled workers— “a challenge that we also face here in rural areas”, says Norbert Heckmann, Chairman of the Management of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG. “The innovation center significantly increases the appeal of Würth as an innovative and outward-looking company—also for technicians and engineers.” State-of-the-art workplaces and entirely new development opportunities aim to attract potential applicants. The close cooperation with the universities takes students directly to the company campus.
The architecture underlines the importance of the building
The polygonal and expressive shape of the building is intended to promote and express innovative power. The Stuttgart-based Obermeyer Planen + Beraten GmbH engineering office was entrusted with the general planning. “We have set our sights high. We are delighted that we can actively contribute to underpinning the particularly pronounced culture of cooperation, promotion, research and ultimately also the innovative strength of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG with the architecture of the innovation center”, says Christoph Blessing, Head of Obermeyer Planen + Beraten’s Stuttgart branch. “The layout and formal language of the building are all geared towards providing a space in which diverse users can fully develop their creativity and innovative power.”
The ground floor features laboratories and workshops as well as a light-flooded, roofed inner courtyard, from which public and non-public areas can be accessed. The office space on the first and second floor contains open workspaces. Further workshops, laboratories and logistics areas are planned in the basement. A second building will house a two-floor anchor laboratory, among others. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2021.