On November 8, 2021, Bühler announced the official start of construction of its Energy & Manufacturing Technology Center. With this move, the Uzwil-based technology group is strengthening two of its main pillars: training and education as well as innovation at the interface between design and manufacturing. This further expansion step is part of the long-term renewal strategy, which also includes the CUBIC Innovation Campus inaugurated three years ago. This strategy is now being systematically pursued. Bühler is therefore further strengthening its Uzwil site. The Center is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2023.
The completely redesigned Energy Center will accommodate Bühler's now globally established vocational training, the concept of lifelong learning for employees, and an innovative health center. All three elements will serve to sustainably ensure the knowledge and health required today and tomorrow. With these priorities, which all focus on people, Bühler is making an important contribution to its long-term success and further enhancing the attractiveness of its workplaces.
The role of the Energy Center
Why does the center have "energy" in its name? Good, positive energy is a crucial resource and the basis for the health, performance, and resilience of employees of all ages. These factors fundamentally influence the motivation and creativity of employees and therefore also the innovative strength of an entire company. The energy of the people in a company has a direct impact on the company's success. Bühler has recognized that to make progress in a complex world with increasingly growing and ever new demands, more energy is needed to survive and succeed in a global working world. This is especially true in the face of digital transformation and fierce global competition.
"Health, education, and productivity are closely linked. With the Energy Center, Bühler is once again investing in its most valuable resource: the people of the company. In doing so, we are assuming social as well as corporate responsibility and securing our future," says Christof Oswald, head of human resources at Bühler. "We are committed to the successful model of our vocational training and lifelong learning. Furthermore, we are expanding our healthcare expertise much more strongly and making a further contribution to keeping Uzwil attractive as a business location," says Oswald.
The Energy Center will become the central hub for vocational training, lifelong learning, and preventive health care at Bühler. This is an ideal complement to the CUBIC Innovation Campus, which opened in 2019. The new four-story tower at the head of the building is dedicated to the topics of collaborative education and training on all levels. On the first floor of the building behind it, modern apprentice areas for plant engineers, polymechanics, automation engineers, and IT apprentices are located on more than 1,300 square meters. This new center will also be accessible to external companies, is close to the recently renovated cafeteria and is directly connected to the CUBIC.
Manufacturing Technology Center: Innovation in the production environment
With the Manufacturing Technology Center, Bühler is expanding its production in Switzerland in the field of prototyping and innovation on an area of about 2,000 square meters. In the new building, Bühler will house the so-called fast line which develops, tests, and manufactures new technologies, spare parts, and possibly also new services for customers in a fast-track process. Prototyping and testing of new manufacturing processes will also take place in the Manufacturing Technology Center. "With this, we are also committing ourselves to Switzerland as a production location in the future. Here, we will manufacture innovations for our customers as pilot projects, which we will later also introduce in other production plants worldwide," says Andreas Schachtner, head of business development in manufacturing, logistics, & supply chain.
Bühler is deliberately locating this new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility close to the CUBIC Innovation Campus and directly adjacent to the application centers. The short distances favor efficient development of innovations: from the idea and initial trials in CUBIC to prototypes in the Manufacturing Technology Center to serial production on site. Thanks to the proximity of vocational training, trainees work in the production of future products from the very beginning. Of course, it is also intended to provide customers with an additional opportunity to be inspired at headquarters on the topics of innovation, manufacturing, and further training.
Built for the future
Construction of the building is expected to take around 18 months. With a length of about 125 meters and a width of 19 meters, the functional building will offer a total of 5,000 square meters of space for collaboration, training, and production. "The building radiates openness and will be flexibly designed. This will allow us to accommodate both today's and tomorrow's needs for training, collaboration, and modern manufacturing technologies," says Elvis Pidic, architect of the building and head of corporate real estate management for the Bühler Group. At the same time, the building also faces outward thanks to its own entrance. "It is important to us that we also make the building easily accessible for external partners. As is already the case with CUBIC, we want to promote collaboration with partners and customers," says Pidic.