Hobart is set to double the size of its European manufacturing operation by 2020, rocketing production levels to 70,000 units annually, with the company believing this will directly benefit British customers.
The manufacturer broke ground on a new 12,000metre2 facility alongside its existing plant in Offenburg, Germany, which will double its current production output of 36,000 machines a year.
Manfred Kohler, VP and general manager of Warewash Germany described the plan as a “major investment” delivering “significant benefits and savings in terms of time and cost”.
Group president global warewash, Axel Beck, who greeted guests during the official ground-breaking ceremony added: “We are sending out a clear message with the plant expansion and are looking forward to a very promising future.”
Scott Santi, chairman and CEO of the Hobart parent company, Illinois Tool Works, travelled from the USA for the event, while Marco Steffens (First Mayor of the City of Offenburg) and Kurt Augustin (District Mayor Village Elgersweier) also symbolically reached for their spades.
David Riley, MD Hobart Equipment Division UK, added: “This is not just an expansion, it’s a pledge to double our already formidable production prowess, resulting in shorter lead times for our UK customer base and reflecting a serious spike in demand for our machines – the European management team are already long-range planning for a further expansion in the coming years.”
The Offenburg facility has already hired 80 new staff since December 2017 and will continue to add to this number ahead of the 2020 opening.
Hobart’s Offenburg facilities are used to build commercial warewashing equipment that is sold across Europe and most of Asia, except for China. It has a separate manufacturing facility in North America to serve US customers.