Siemens Expands Fully Automated Switchgear Plant

Siemens is investing €30 million to expand its switchgear plant in Frankfurt-Fechenheim in Germany. Accordingly, the fully automated high-speed 1,2000sq.m warehouse extension will rise in the existing 160,000sq.m facility.

For years, the plant has been experiencing steady growth in incoming orders and is working at its capacity limit. The additional production area will support a third assembly line for switchgear. Hence, boosting the site and creating new jobs in the region.

Sustainability is an essential consideration. Particularly, the plant is expanding its production of environmentally friendly medium-voltage switchgear. In addition, the two new buildings will have roofs with photovoltaic systems.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Martin Betzmann, Site Manager of the Frankfurt-Fechenheim switchgear plant, Stephanie Wüst, member of the city council and Head of Economic Affairs of the city of Frankfurt am Main, Stephan May, CEO of Electrification & Automation at Siemens AG, and Steffen Rümmler, Head of the German Business at Siemens Real Estate, symbolically opened the construction site.  

The ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of the Siemens switchgear plant in Frankfurt-Fechenheim was held by Stephan May, CEO Electrification & Automation Siemens AG, Martin Betzmann, Site Manager Switchgear Plant Frankfurt-Fechenheim, City Councillor Stephanie Wüst, Head of Economic Affairs of the City of Frankfurt am Main, Steffen Rümmler, Head of the German Business Siemens Real Estate, and Marcello D’Ambrogio, Chairman of the Works Council Siemens Schaltanlagenwerk Frankfurt-Fechenheim (from left).

Sustainable Production Facility

The Frankfurt-Fechenheim switchgear plant is an international center of competence for gas-insulated switchgear and has an almost 40-year history. “We are the only company in the world that develops load and power switching technology, tests it in an accredited test laboratory, and produces it all in one location,” says Betzmann.

In addition, Betzmann said, “Our investment will secure the sustainable future of our production facility and the employability of our staff.” Customers from all over the world visit the Siemens site in Frankfurt am Main. The Customer Center, which underwent extensive modernization in 2022, offers them the opportunity to see the switchgear in person and receive personalized consultation.

Thus, Stephanie Wüst, Head of Economic Affairs of the city of Frankfurt am Main, said, “Siemens’ clear commitment to Fechenheim strengthens the attractiveness of this business location – one of the city’s goals. That’s why I’m so excited about this project. It sends an important message and proves that we’re on the right track.”

Increased Automation, Digitalization

Construction completion of the smart, fully automated high-speed warehouse is around spring 2024. The warehouse will supply pre-picked material to production lines on a just-in-time basis, making production even more efficient.

In addition, a new hall is being built to increase capacity for the production of environmentally friendly medium-voltage switchgear. The Frankfurt-Fechenheim plant has been manufacturing this type of gas-insulated switchgear since 2018. The switchgear uses the climate-neutral Clean Air insulation medium, which consists exclusively of natural components of the ambient air. This demonstrates Siemens’ commitment to moving away from sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and producing environmentally friendly medium-voltage systems. The site itself will also be made sustainable. Particularly, the two new buildings will have green roofs and photovoltaic systems.

Today, around 1,600 Siemens employees work in Frankfurt-Fechenheim, drawing on the expertise built throughout the site’s decades-long history. Because of the increased digitalization and automation of the plant, the requirements for job profiles are also changing. For that reason, Siemens is also creating a comprehensive training program to prepare its employees for new or changing tasks.