Ochsner doubles production capacity
Additional hall and new production lines at the Haag site
Ochsner held a groundbreaking ceremony for three new construction phases at the company's site in Haag, Austria, on 28 September 2020. The new buildings are an important part of Ochsner's expansion and location concept, in order to adapt to continuing growth in demand for heat pumps. The new warehousing & logistics centre and the expansion of the assembly process will double capacities.
In an investment amounting to a low eight-digit figure, Ochsner is building a new warehousing & logistics centre and a production hall for up to three full heat pump assembly lines. "We will once again significantly raise the efficiency of production and the quality of our products, which will not only increase volume but also reduce delivery times," explains Karl Ochsner, fifth-generation Chief Owner and CEO. Thanks to the new automation concept, production in single-shift operation can be expanded from the current level of around 10,000 to up to 20,000 heat pumps a year. Multi-shift operation can significantly increase capacities again without further construction work. This puts Ochsner in a position to reliably meet growing demand in Europe and Asia.
Jochen Danninger, Councillor for Economic Affairs, who performed the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, emphasised: "Especially now, investments in our business location are of great importance. In this context, this groundbreaking ceremony acts as a very special beacon. Many thanks to Karl Ochsner for this investment, which adds value and creates jobs in Lower Austria. The state of Lower Austria is doing everything it can to encourage other companies to follow this example. A comprehensive recovery plan has been launched to help businesses overcome the crisis faster and more effectively."
From cellular to flow production
The expansion will see production converted from cellular manufacturing to flow production – OCHSNER manufactures according to the mixed production model, using the "one-piece flow" method. "The partial automation of warehousing & logistics planned in parallel ensures replenishment for production and enables faster turnover of goods," explains Ochsner CEO Marco Schäfer. Regional value creation will also increase, as small regional suppliers can be better integrated. The new structure will optimise the supply chain. Ochsner feels the experience gained from the coronavirus crisis confirms that it is on the right track. The company has risen to the occasion so far without short-time work or government support, and the number of employees has grown by around 10 percent since spring 2020.
Creating the conditions for further growth
"The largest single investment in our company's history creates the conditions to be able to realise our ambitious growth targets of 10 percent per year," says Karl Ochsner. In the last five years, the company has grown by 69 percent and now has an export level of 75 percent, he reports. The administration building has therefore also become too small. "When the new production lines and the logistics area are up and running, we will invest another multi-million sum in the expansion of the office building, probably in 2022/23," reveals Karl Ochsner. Commissioning of the new halls is planned in time for the winter season 2021/22. Preliminary planning is already underway for a further hall to produce heat pumps for large buildings and for industrial process technology.
"With this substantial investment in economically uncertain corona times, we are sending a signal of future orientation and optimism," says Karl Ochsner, who is confident of a rapid overall economic recovery after Covid-19. Despite the pandemic, the fight against climate change is of central importance to Ochsner – after all, there will be no vaccination against global warming.