Rittal is expanding its production capabilities and building the world’s most advanced production plant for compact enclosures in Haiger, Germany, with completion scheduled for 2018. Total capital expenditure will amount to 250 million euros, making it the largest single investment in the company’s history.
State-of-the-art infrastructure and digitisation will underpin highly-efficient production, logistics and communications processes. There will be corresponding upgrades to two other plants in the region, and the construction of a further plant for large stainless-steel enclosures.
The 24,000 m² Haiger facility will manufacture 9000 enclosures a day from 300 standard types, in accordance with each customer’s specific needs.
Digital technology will play a key role, as will machining and assembly tools from Rittal Automation Systems’ portfolio. Materials will be transported across the plant by means of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), dispensing with human operators. Intelligent systems, with machine-learning abilities will be deployed to continuously increase system availability, and to predictively order spare parts, reducing the likelihood of unplanned downtime due to wear and tear.
Fully automated control systems, for example in the paint shop, will minimise energy consumption, costs and environmental impact.
Haiger will act as a pilot and model for upgrades at other Rittal sites throughout the world. Digitisation of production processes is vital to delivering future improved efficiencies. It is key to achieving the productivity needed to compete in the global marketplace and to create a secure platform for our workforce in all the locations where Rittal operate.
Rittal has also invested over 40 million euros in a state-of-the-art global distribution centre (GDC). Up to 80 trucks a day leave the GDC every day shipping some 10,000 products to customers around the world. It has a fully automated, high-bay warehouse with 21,500 pallet positions for large enclosures, as well as an automatic small parts warehouse with 25,000 container positions. A high-performance computer controls the incoming orders around the clock, stores details of incoming and outgoing products, and works out which pallet is to be loaded onto which truck.
Further information about Rittal can be found at www.rittal.co.uk.