Automation Schneider Electric

New Machine Solutions Center «Zenith» inaugurated in Marktheidenfeld

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On 26 November 2012, Schneider Electric conducted an official inauguration ceremony for its new corporate building in Marktheidenfeld. The building’s occupant is Schneider Electric Automation GmbH, which unifies various teams of Schneider Electric’s international Industry business under a single roof. The consolidation of the industry-specific and solution-related expertise previously distributed throughout different buildings of the corporate group is an important step for Schneider Electric on the path to becoming the leading automation specialist in machine construction.

The inauguration ceremony included speeches by the president of the district government of Llower Franconia, representatives of the administrative district and municipality of Marktheidenfeld, and representatives of Schneider Electric corporate management and its German subsidiary before an international audience of almost 600 guests. In addition to business partners and press representatives, many domestic and foreign customers also accepted the invitation to attend this event.

Even with the strong economy of recent years, the inauguration of a new building on agreenfield site in Germany is no longer a frequent occurrence. With this investment, Schneider Electric is sending a clear signal for the intensification of its commitment to international machine construction: Within the next three years, Schneider Electric wants to advance from its already strong starting position to become one of the leading global players in the field of machine automation.

The new building, with total usable space of approximately 24,000 m², is designed for mixed use. In addition to offices, laboratories, training rooms, a large mall, and conference rooms for events, it also consolidates logistics and production areas under a single roof. With its convenient location directly on the A3 Autobahn exit at Marktheidenfeld, the new center will have space for up to 500 employees. Since the building has for now approximately 400 employees, there is plenty of room for expansion.

The interlinked wings of the building are harmoniously integrated into the 55,000 m² property, and are interspersed with landscaped areas. The interior is dominated by an abundance of light, with appealing inner and outer common areas offering space for communication between employees. Many of the interior and exterior architectural details are clearly aimed at creating an aesthetically pleasing environment in order to promote a positive working atmosphere for employees.

All of the teams from the High Performance Automation Solutions divisions with a focus on packaging machinery have been gathered in Marktheidenfeld with the divisions involved in conveyor and pump engineering, cranes and lifting technology, and HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning). The result is a center of expertise for a fully integrated, scalable range of controller hardware for machine construction. Effective immediately, the contact persons for training, service, support, and engineering for all controller platforms of the ´MachineStruxure´ automation solution will be located in Marktheidenfeld. The Innovation, Customer Experience, and System Consistency teams, whose work focuses on the further development of the MachineStruxure portfolio, are also now located in Marktheidenfeld.

Another reason to locate a Machine Solutions headquarters in Germany is to maintain physical proximity to German machine builders. German machine builders are world-famous as technological trendsetters. As one of the leading international providers of automation solutions and products, Schneider Electric considers German machine builders to be extremely important for the company, not only as a market, but also as a source for ideas and partners in future developments. For example, the future direction taken in Marktheidenfeld when developing the portfolio consolidated in MachineStruxure will be guided by the feedback received from machine builders.

In many aspects of its construction and operation, the building itself also reflects Schneider Electric’s expertise in building automation. The complex’s impressive building management technology was developed by Schneider Electric itself, and the company has its own in-house HVAC expertise in any case. The electronic charging stations installed on the property for electric cars are another sign of technological progressiveness.

When designing the building, the company placed special emphasis on optimizing energy usage. Schneider Electric considers the development and application of technologies for better and more effective energy utilization to be one of the most important tasks for a company from a social perspective. For example, innovative solutions reduced the building’s energy consumption by a respectable 15% below the requirements of the applicable energy conservation ordinance.

Thus Schneider Electric’s new home offers its customers not only concentrated expertise for machine automation, but also an initial launching point for EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric’s solution architecture for the integration of energy delivery, process automation, machine controls, building automation, security monitoring, and access control in integrated, intelligent energy management systems.

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