Brose Würzburg: Positive outlook
Automotive supplier Brose has invested around 100 million euros in Würzburg since taking over the electric motor division of Continental/Siemens VDO in 2008. Of this amount, 80 million euros was spent on new production systems and almost 20 million euros on modernizing and refitting buildings. The location is one of the corporate group’s international headquarters. Brose manages its global activities in the drives business division as well as seven production plants in Europe and overseas from Würzburg. The mechatronics specialist held a press talk on the location in Würzburg on 4 December 2015.
Brose is the largest industrial employer in Würzburg with 1,850 employees, including 80 apprentices in industrial/technical and commercial vocations or dual-track studies program students. The number of employees at the location has risen by 300 since the integration of the plant into the Brose Group. Würzburg is the company’s third-largest location after Coburg and Ostrava in the Czech Republic. “We’re on track. Our production site will contribute around half a billion euros to the Brose Group’s turnover this year,” says general manager Jörg Rödel.
Around 1,000 industrial employees manufacture products such as window regulator actuators, cooling fan modules, electric parking brakes, steering motors and drive train actuators on the 120,000 square meter site. The company also produces components for sister plants around the world in Würzburg. 65 million motor shafts are produced annually. These are processed either on site or at one of the group’s drive plants.
Production and development expertise
In addition, 25 million drives are manufactured in Würzburg every year. A truck leaves the plant grounds every 15 minutes to deliver the products to customers. “Brose’s core expertise in the drives business division is based at the Würzburg location and so ramp-ups for new products and processes begin here. We then transfer our knowledge and experience to Brose production sites all over the world,” says Rödel.
The Brose Group expects turnover to reach nearly six billion euros in the 2015 fiscal year. The drives business division will contribute around one billion euros. The automotive supplier sees great growth opportunities in the area of electric motors and drives over the next ten years.
Intelligent solutions for demanding trends
This is based on the trends seen in the automotive industry – the increased electrification in vehicles and the need for manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions, explains Dr. Thomas Leicht, deputy head of the Brose Group’s drives business division. “Intelligent drives such as the cooling fan module, the HVAC blower, the electric power steering motor and drive train actuators can already save up to 20 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer,” says Leicht. Brose products offer added value thanks to the integration of electronics. This makes it possible to achieve better performance, optimized efficiency, less space requirements or a lower weight.
Every tenth employee in Würzburg works on new products and processes. The mechatronics specialist focuses on functions and systems that enhance vehicle safety, comfort and efficiency. Brose has its own acoustics laboratory and an accredited EMC test center for measuring electromagnetic compatibility to reduce development time and work cost-effectively. The automotive supplier also uses computer-aided simulation.
The employees play a key role in the success of the location and the business division. The mechatronics specialist plans to hire additional staff in Würzburg, in particular engineers in the areas of development and quality. The company demands a high level of commitment but also offers its employees career development opportunities as well as social and health benefits. The “Brose Arbeitswelt” is characterized by an efficient working environment, flexible working hours and performance-based remuneration. The supplier also has a comprehensive corporate health management system with sports programs as well as information and campaign days that aim to protect and promote employees’ health. A new shift model is currently being trialled for production employees in Würzburg. The aim is to make working hours more compatible with family, free time and well-being.
Brose is also active in sports, cultural and social causes in Würzburg. The company sponsors the s.Oliver Baskets, the Rimparer Wölfe and the Würzburger Kickers. It has cooperated with the Julius Maximilian University in Würzburg since 2013. The automotive supplier also supports the Mozart Festival. The “Station Regenbogen” (“Rainbow Ward”) – a parents’ initiative for children with leukemia and cancer in Würzburg – also benefits from the family-owned company’s involvement.