Machinery group Engel Holding GmbH has opened a new production hall on its St Valentin site, near the city of Linz, in Austria, to better serve the automotive industry.
In a 10 July statement, the Austrian machinery supplier said the opening was carried out during the two-day Engel trend.scaut 2017 conference at the end of June, which was attended by 500 industry leaders.
According to Engel, an additional 4100 square metres of production space have been created in the south of the Engel’s Centre for Lightweight Composite Technologies which works to speed up introduction of new technologies on the market.
Additionally, the machinery supplier expects to further expand the site and to start construction on a new office building and a bigger customer technology centre in the coming winter.
“Investment in our large-scale machine manufacturing plant reflects the growing demand above all from the auto industry,” said Franz Füreder, vice president of the automotive business unit at Engel Austria.
The Schwertberg, Austria-based company said that during the two-day conference “electromobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and car-sharing” were among the major trends that are expected to fundamentally change demands on vehicles and consequently on how they are manufactured in the coming decade.
Another important and common note by all participants, said Engel, was close collaboration at every stage of value chain in order to meet challenges.
“For very different technologies to work together in the best possible way, from the raw materials through processing and to later recycling, it is important that we increasingly combine our know-how beyond company boundaries,” stresses Michael Fischer, head of business development technologies at Engel Austria.
For an example, Fischer mentioned current trends for composite materials and electronic functionalisation of components, in highly integrated manufacturing processes and closed material cycles.
Other speakers included representatives from Audi and Volvo, Sabic, BASF and voestalpine Metal Forming, Kreisel Electric and Engel, Magna, Continental and Yanfeng, McKinsey and LMC.
Engel has been holding its trend.scaut automotive events since 2009. The next event in 2018 will be held in Shanghai, China, and in 2019 in Detroit, USA, before it returns in 2020 to be hosted in Austria.