Schaeffler’s German Hub to Add New Advanced Complex

Schaeffler AG is expanding its existing electromobility development and manufacturing campus in Bühl, Germany, by adding a new building complex. Particularly, the facility will occupy a land area of approximately 8,000 square meters. Most importantly, it will serve as a new center of excellence for electrified mobility at Schaeffler’s Automotive Technologies headquarter. The construction project represents an investment of about €50 million.

Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler AG, said “We are significantly scaling up our activities in electromobility and are acquiring major customer projects.”

In 2021, Schaeffler posted over €1 billion in sales of electrified powertrain solutions. Furthermore, the supplier to the automotive and industrial sector secured new electromobility projects worldwide valued at €3.2 billion. This was followed by a further €3.2 billion worth of new orders in the first half of 2022. Hence, the new orders for the first six months have already fulfilled the xcompany’s full-year target for 2022.

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State-of-the-Art Workspaces in Electromobility

Schaeffler said the expanded electromobility campus will be handling most of these highly complex customer projects. “We are creating new, state-of-the-art workspaces for our innovations in electromobility,” Zink said.

The new facility is part of Schaeffler’s Roadmap 2025 strategic program and represents a key milestone in the expansion of the company’s e-mobility capabilities. In addition, construction will get underway in September 2022, with completion scheduled for the fall of 2024.

“The construction of the development center is an important signal for Bühl as a business location and especially for the future of its employees,” said Bühl’s mayor Hubert Schnurr.

In addition, Schnurr recognized the construction of the development center as another sign from Schaeffler that it will not only strengthen Bühl, but also position the company for the “mobility of the future”.

In Bühl (Germany), in what is currently a production hall for transmission components, Schaeffler is building a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant for electric motors that will be known as the UltraElab. Photo: Schaeffler (Dominik Obertreis)

High Sustainability Credentials

The new complex is in the Bussmatten industrial park in Bühl, Germany and will consist of two buildings connected by a bridge. Furthermore, it will have a total floor area of 15,000 square meters, providing space for some 400 employees to work collaboratively on customer projects and develop new systems for electric powertrains.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jochen Schröder, the head of Schaeffler’s E-Mobility business division, said, “Going forward, Schaeffler is eager to acquire more and more projects involving integrated mechanical, electronic and software systems. To optimally manage these complexities, we are building strong project teams and a future-oriented work environment.”

In addition, the facility will feature workspaces for interdisciplinary teams, extensive collaboration and networking zones as well as laboratory and workshop areas. Specifically, there are also plans for a conference center. The new complex will complement Schaeffler’s three existing buildings at the Bussmatten site. This is the same location the company is already developing and manufacturing components and systems for electromobility.

Crucially, the connecting bridge will be further enhancing communication and dialog between the different teams based at the site. Bussmatten is where Schaeffler’s E-Mobility business division is headquartered.

Environmental aspects and sustainability will play a central role right from the start. Particularly, the complex will generate most of its electricity using rooftop and facade solar installations. The new complex will meet the DGNB Gold Standard (German Sustainability Council).

Ultra-Efficient Production of Electric Motors

In one of the existing buildings at the Bussmatten site, Schaeffler is currently building an ultra-modern plant for electric motors known as the UltraELab. Consequently, the guiding principle for this global flagship plant is “ultra-efficient factory” concept. The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg in partnership with Schaeffler and other stakeholders are part of this ultra-efficiency factory concept.

“As well as raising the bar for efficiency and productivity, our aim with the UltraELab is to make a real contribution to greater sustainability,” said Schröder.

The agile and flexible production of electric motors, the heart of every electric powertrain, will help achieve these objectives. Instead of using fixed production lines, the company will manufacture the motors using flexible digitalized technology modules that can be re-arranged and re-scaled as required.

Thanks to standardized interfaces as well as state-of-the-art IT integration, the modules will be much simpler and quicker to set up and configure than conventional systems.