Machinery group Engel Holding GmbH has opened a new production hall on its St. Valentin site, near Linz, Austria, to better serve the automotive industry.
In a July 10 statement, the Austrian machinery supplier said the opening was carried out during the two-day Engel trendscaut 2017 conference at the end of June, which was attended by 500 industry leaders.
According to Engel, an additional 4,100 square meters of production space have been created at Engel's Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies, which works to speed up introduction of new technologies on the market.
Additionally, Engel expects to further expand the site and to start construction on a new office building and a bigger customer technology center 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, Engel said, was in the need for close collaboration at every stage of value chain.
“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,” stressed Michael Fischer, head of business development technologies at Engel Austria.
For an example, Fischer mentioned current trends for composite materials and electronic functionalization of components, in highly integrated manufacturing processes and closed material cycles.
Other speakers included representatives from automakers Audi and Volvo, materials suppliers Sabic and BASF and Tier 1 suppliers Magna, Continental and Yanfeng along with industry consultants.