TRUMPF to expand North American market through smart factory
The German machine tool manufacturer recently opened a smart factory in the city of Chicago
German machine tool manufacturer and Industry 4.0 specialist TRUMPF has expanded its presence in the North American market through the opening of a smart factory in Chicago.
The smart factory, which was designed for digitally connected production processes, covers more than 50,000 square feet and required a total investment of 26 million euros ($31.8 million) in construction and equipment.
The German firm said that this smart factory, which was officially opened in September last year, will focus on training its customers as they introduce digitally connected production solutions. To this end, TRUMPF designed a factory that intelligently connects the entire sheet metal process chain – from the initial order for a sheet metal component to its design, manufacture and delivery. TRUMPF said the smart factory is intended for all sheet metal processors. The core target group is those small and medium-sized contract manufacturers who are still in the early stages of digital networking.
The European company said it had selected Chicago because the city is at the center of the North American market for sheet metal processing. Some 40% of the entire sheet metal processing industry is based in neighboring states, according to the firm. “For us, America is one of the most important markets there is. And in Chicago, we can present our vision for connected production to our customers in the Midwest practically at their doorstep – and work with them to drive forward connected production in the Industry 4.0 era,” said Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, chief executive officer of the TRUMPF Group.
TRUMPF also highlighted that its recently opened smart factory has custom-designed architecture. The factory’s control room and its large screens provide visitors with real-time process performance data for the current production process. Additionally, a production hall houses a connected sheet metal manufacturing line, including a high storage bay that supplies materials to the machine tools connected to it. A skywalk spans the production hall, offering a bird’s-eye view of the factory and enabling those who stand on it to comprehend the production systems as well as their material and information flows as a whole.
The German firm also said that a total of 30 employees are currently working in the new Chicago facility.
TRUMPF increased its sales in the American market by 14% in the past fiscal year, to 421 million euros – making the U.S. the company’s second-largest market after Germany. The company said the opening of the new smart factory in Chicago is key for the expansion of the North American market.
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