Our Plant in Gniezno is Growing
Last year, our plant in Gniezno, Poland, was considerably expanded in only six months at a cost of just under EUR 2.7 million. We manufacture products for various VW models at this location.
The production hall for complex assemblies and logistics was expanded by 2,350 m². The expanded welding area mainly accommodates spot and MAG welding systems. The total hall area is thus 7,100 m²; if the loading road (a 17 m wide roof for loading and unloading the trucks) is added, the total area is even 8,400 m².
The office space has also been expanded. New changing rooms, an open-plan office and a new, flexibly usable meeting room have been created on 420 m².
The Gniezno location was newly established in 2015. The geographical location close to the VW plants Września and Poznan as well as the attractive job market were the decisive criteria for this decision.
"So beautifully quiet"
FAUN welcomed MEP and Vice-President of the European People's Party (EPP) David McAllister on Monday 17.02.2020 at the plant in Heilshorn. The MEP met with the FAUN management, the Mayor of Osterholzer Torsten Rohde and District Administrator Bernd Lütjen as well as former District Director Hans-Dieter von Friedrichs to discuss strategies for the expansion of the hydrogen infrastructure to enable energy supply for emission-free heavy-duty traffic.
After the test drive with the ROTOPRESS BLUEPOWER, FAUN's refuse collection vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells, McAllister said: "So nice and quiet. FAUN has developed the battery hydrogen drive system ready for series production and is building 22 of these emission-free vehicles this year. The basis is a Mercedes Benz Econic as a glider, in which battery packs, fuel cells and hydrogen tanks are installed instead of the combustion engine and exhaust system. The vehicles will be assembled according to the area of application. Hydrogen is an ideal carrier, the medium is light and has a high density, so that longer operating times are no problem.
For FAUN hydrogen is the only reasonable drive system. Only in this way is a closed energy cycle possible. With the BLUEPOWER vehicles, FAUN provides companies with one hundred percent electric and emission-free refuse collection vehicles and sweepers. Noise emissions are also marginal, as all units have been optimized for quiet and energy-efficient operation. The electrical energy produced by the fuel cells from hydrogen is not only used for driving, but also for all body functions.
Domestic waste collection is stopped frequently, in densely populated areas every few meters. With conventional chassis, a lot of energy is converted into heat that cannot be used any further at the brakes, and BLUEPOWER vehicles store this energy in the batteries for later use. This means that a BLUEPOWER vehicle requires up to 40% less energy, is CO2 and NOx-free, and emits less particulate matter. FAUN is thus making a valuable contribution to the hot topic of climate protection.
Picture: Looking to the future, (from left): Matthias Kohlmann (CFO FAUN Group and President of the Stade Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Elbe Weser region), Torsten Rohde (Mayor Osterholz-Scharmbeck), Thorsten Baumeister (COO FAUN Group), Bernd Lütjen (District Administrator Osterholz), Hans-Dieter von Friedrichs (District Director a.D.), Burkard Oppmann (Managing Director FAUN Services GmbH), David McAllister, Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff (Managing Partner KIRCHHOFF Group), Patrick Hermanspann (CEO FAUN Group)
First Strokes are done
Shortly before Christmas, the new 16,000 kN servo transfer press at our plant in Tecumseh/US started trial operation with a blank loader. The next step will be the trial run with conveyor system.
The press is the first servo transfer press of our company in North America, which can produce both over blanks and over a conveyor belt system. This provides greater flexibility for the use of this state-of-the-art press technology. In particular, the efficient use of materials was an important decision criterion here.
The press was delivered in September, and the first strokes could still be carried out in December. In addition to the relocation of a large number of forming tools to the new servo transfer press, the focus is now on employee training.
Commemoration of Dr. Jochen F. Kirchhoff
In a solemn memorial service on January 17, 2020, 900 people filled the churches of Oberste Stadtkirche and Bauernkirche in Iserlohn to bid farewell to Dr.-Ing. Jochen F. Kirchhoff, who passed away on December 18, 2019, at the age of 92. More than 200 managers and employees of our company also attended the event.
The main memorial service held in the Oberste Stadtkirche church was broadcasted live on a screen to the Bauernkirche church. At both locations, the ceremonies were well attended. Not only employees of the two German plants in Attendorn and Iserlohn attended the memorial service, but also colleagues from many European plants. Apart from employees, there were guests from society, politics, culture, and representatives of the North Rhine-Westphalia German state government and the presidents of the German Employers' and Metalworkers' Associations.
The life of Dr.-Ing. Jochen F. Kirchhoff was marked by creativity, humor, sportsmanship, love of music, people, and especially love for his family. It was fitting then that his family arranged the memorial service for him. Music was one of his greatest passions. Outstanding artists such as the Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen orchestra, guitarist Dale Kavanagh, violinist Moritz Ter Nedden and the Märkische Motettenkreis Iserlohn choir, performed works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and Samuel Barber. Pastor Jürgen Löprich delivered the sermon at the memorial service, Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff delivered the personal address of the family, and the grandchildren gave their own statements for their grandfather.
After the ceremony, the Kirchhoff family held a reception at the Schauburg hall in Iserlohn. A series of pictures shown at the reception, exhibited numerous impressions from the private and professional life of Dr.-Ing. Jochen F. Kirchhoff.
On the day of the memorial service, a minute of silence was held for Dr.-Ing. Jochen F. Kirchhoff in many places across the company.