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25/03/2014 Liebherr to invest over CHF 200 million at its Bulle plant
Over the next six years, the Liebherr Group is set to invest more than CHF 200 million (around 160 million euro) in its development and production site at Bulle in the Swiss canton of Fribourg. Significant capacity expansion in the fields of diesel engines and fuel injection systems will make further growth possible for the company Liebherr Machines Bulle SA.
Liebherr develops and produces diesel and gas engines, fuel injection systems, hydraulic components and splitter boxes in Bulle. These are employed partly in machines and equipment manufactured by the Liebherr Group, but are also increasingly in demand by customers outside the Group.
On the one hand, the assembly capacity for diesel engines will be substantially increased. On the other hand, the area used for engine test benches will also be made substantially larger and will cover more than 14,000 m² in the future. This allows for a further strengthening of development activities. New machines in the area of production will not only increase capacity, but also make it possible to expand the range of parts. That is the basis for the further expansion of the engine range at Liebherr Machines Bulle SA, which currently covers six basic engines from the four-cylinder inline engine to the twelve-cylinder V-engine.
Production of Common Rail fuel injection systems, which have been manufactured in Bulle since 2012, should be increased to more than 100,000 units per year. Liebherr will thus create the necessary preconditions for increasingly and reliably supplying to external customers. The new factory section for the development and production of fuel injection systems will cover an area of 9,000 m² and is due to be opened in 2016. The building will be spatially separate from the engine and hydraulics production and will feature highly automated assembly lines and quality assurance systems in line with automotive industry standards. The planned expansion of the precision parts production facilities will mean a significant increase in the depth of production in the field of Common Rail systems and bring with it a high degree of availability.
The modernisation of the service and logistics infrastructure with a new warehouse and logistics centre, and the expansion of the training centre will benefit all parts of the site. These measures will also mean a reorganisation of the processes and material flows, which should bring about a substantial increase in productivity with reduced space requirements.
With this investment, Liebherr is securing the long-term existence of the Bulle plant and the creation of new jobs. Most of them will be for qualified skilled workers in production, but many will also be for highly qualified engineers and specialists, for whom additional new offices will be created.
The investment underlines the strategic importance of the Components division within the Liebherr Group. The high depth of production can thus be sustainably maintained.