Balzers/Bielefeld, 19 April 2018 – Coating specialist Oerlikon Balzers opened its new plant in Bielefeld with a two-day event attended by guests – both customers and experts – from the areas of politics and the economy.
The coating centre combines the expertise from three previous locations on a floor space of 6,000 square metres with cutting edge surface technologies for machining, forming and plastics processing. Customers from many different sectors are to benefit, from the automotive and pharmaceutical industries to tool making.
They are up to 50 times thinner than a hair, but they literally keep things moving in many manufacturing industries: Coatings that significantly improve both the performance and the service life of components or tools. Oerlikon Balzers with headquarters in Liechtenstein is a leading provider of surface solutions like these and serves customers in more than 100 coating centres worldwide, 12 of which are in Germany. Of these, the customer centre for the region of Northern Germany in Bielefeld which has now been officially opened is truly special, as Marc Desrayaud, Head of Oerlikon Balzers Industrial Solutions, explained to guests in his opening remarks: “We are very proud of this centre, which is the largest in Europe for the coating of tools. We are celebrating this inauguration together with our customers, political and media representatives as well as leading experts with engaging lectures. We are also pleased that the CEO of the Oerlikon Group, Dr. Roland Fischer, is here at this important event. Our significant investment in the Bielefeld customer centre once again underscores the importance of the German market for our company and our growth strategy.”
The reasons for this were cited by Hendrik Alfter, Managing Director of Oerlikon Balzers Germany: “At this location, we have combined the entire production capacity of our plants in Herford, Hildesheim and Spenge, which have all moved to Bielefeld over the course of the past year. In our new centre, you will find the most innovative technology that we have to offer.” Highlights could be viewed by guests during plant tours: Coating systems using the S3p technology (Scalable Pulsed Power Plasma), which employ BALIQ, wear-resistant, extremely smooth and dense coatings suitable for a unique range of applications; cleaning and blasting systems of the newest generation for the pretreatment of tools and components; and an ultra-modern, automatic guided vehicle system for trouble-free processes and internal workflows which enables even more flexible responses to customer needs. In addition, Bielefeld is the first location to offer the market innovation BALIQ UNIQUE, the one-of-a-kind family of colour coatings from Oerlikon Balzers as the latest complement to the complete portfolio of solutions.
80 staff active in production since winter 2017
It was not only the plant’s innovative variety that impressed Bielefeld’s mayor Pit Clausen: “The focus on our city which the global brand Oerlikon Balzers brings to bear underscores in a significant manner the future-oriented nature of our business location. Consequently, I see the opening of the plant as a significant milestone – for the region as well.”
The coating centre is situated conveniently in the Hellfeld industrial park directly next to the A2 autobahn in the three-city region of Bielefeld – Herford – Bad Salzuflen. Currently 80 employees work on 6,000 square metres of floor space and full-scale production has been underway already since winter 2017. Growth is both possible and planned: The usable area encompasses 22,500 square metres. “These prerequisites, the good infrastructure and the central location all contributed decisively to the selection of the location”, said Hendrik Alfter. The location emanated professional competence already at the opening: On both days of the event, a packed programme with lectures by customer and partner experts dealing with the latest trends in coating, current research results and practical applications from the areas of machining, metal forming and plastics processing provided a wealth of information. The recordings of the individual talks can be found on the Oerlikon Balzers YouTube channel.