Yesterday saw the official opening of warewasher manufacturer Classeq’s new purpose-built 2,700m2 headquarters in Stafford.
The opening ceremony was conducted by Jürgen and Ralf Winterhalter, the father and son owners and MDs of parent company Winterhalter, as well as Classeq MD, David Smithson. As well as unveiling an official plaque, the Winterhalters planted a tree outside the new building to commemorate the occasion.
Smithson told Catering Insight: “The idea of a new building was discussed 3 years ago and it took 1 year to construct. We have invested £3.5m in the facility and this should benefit distributors as we are aiming to reduce the current 1 hour 6 minute turnaround time to assemble a warewasher to under an hour.
“We have a flexible and just in time manufacturing process to enable next day delivery.”
The new facility is 25% larger than the previous base in Milton Keynes, with supply and logistics manager Steven Hulbert reporting that the changeover did not cause any supply disruption. An extra mezzanine floor section is also planned.
The new capacity is aimed at increasing Classeq’s production from 15,000 to 16,000 warewashers per year by the end of 2018. The building features new testing facilities, including a bespoke model testing area.
An onsite show room facility demonstrates the products first hand, including the manufacturer’s new undercounter Duo range which was launched early in 2017.
Prior to the opening, Classeq’s technical director Gary Jones cycled all the way from Stafford to Meckenbeuren on Lake Constance in Germany, to deliver the factory’s door key to Classeq’s international headquarters – an epic 1,400 kilometres which took 11 days – where he presented the key to Jürgen and Ralph Winterhalter.
The company employs over 50 people in the UK, including around 20 on the factory floor who are multi-skilled and can swap between assembly lines and stores sections.