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TRACTO-TECHNIK is fit for the future

06.11.18 - Official inauguration of the new logistics centre at the Lennestadt location
The construction of the new logistics centre at the headquarters in Lennestadt-Saalhausen is a milestone in the history of TRACTO-TECHNIK. On the one hand, the over 4,500 m2 large hall, which was erected in only 14 months on Winterberger Strasse, is the largest building in the history of the special machinery manufacturer. On the other hand, the ultra-modern logistics centre is one of the central measures in the implementation of a far-reaching modernisation strategy and thus a visible sign of the future viability of the company. After the ground-breaking ceremony in March 2017 and the topping-out ceremony one year later, the new logistics centre is now ready for occupancy. For the official inauguration, the management of TRACTO-TECHNIK invited numerous guests of honour from politics, administration and business, the responsible architects, all building contractors as well as residents and neighbours together with all employees to the celebration on 31 October 2018.

Innovation as a tradition
The 31st of October was deliberately chosen for the inauguration by the TRACTO-TECHNIK management because this date coincides with the birthday of the company founder Paul Schmidt and has always stood for special occasions in the company. The father of the current owner and managing director Wolfgang Schmidt founded TRACTO-TECHNIK in 1962 and revolutionised pipe installation with the invention of the first German soil displacement hammer GRUNDOMAT. Since then, the trademark of the mole has stood for the pioneering trenchless technology from the Sauerland region.

Passion for optimum solutions and innovative technology is still the driving force behind the company's success today. Because TRACTO-TECHNIK are anchored firmly in the region despite all its international success, the decision to modernize at the home location was only logical for the management. The construction of the logistics centre is part of the "plant structure planning", i.e. a whole catalogue of organisational and structural innovations which serve to secure the future of the company and the jobs in Germany in the long term. In order to meet the increasing global demand for innovative and high-quality trenchless solutions in all areas, a new technology centre for the areas of design and research and development was built at the Lennestadt-Langenei site in addition to the logistics centre. This centre has been in operation since the end of last year. Another decisive measure to optimise processes is the consolidation of the assembly of all trenchless systems in the existing production hall on Winterberger Strasse, which will be connected to the new logistics centre. This leads to significantly faster assembly times for the various NODIG systems (no dig = no digging), which to date have taken place at different locations.

Breaking new ground at old location
The structural connection of the assembly plant with the new logistics centre ensures a smooth, fast production cycle and rapid delivery. The new building consists of two building sections for storage and dispatch with a total area of around 4,500 m². Material and spare parts are stored in a high-bay warehouse with a storage area of around 4,000 m². A Kanban system ensures that all necessary parts for the construction of the NODIG machines are always available in the required quantity. In order to get all deliveries on their way as quickly as possible, up to six trucks can be loaded and unloaded at the same time in the dispatch hall. The simultaneous maximum automation and digitalization of all processes results in a state-of-the-art production facility with synchronized, fast assembly and logistics. The workplaces have been designed according to the latest ergonomic standards and a large number of modern technical aids facilitate numerous work processes for the employees. In this way, customers worldwide will in future receive a reliable product from Lennestadt-Saalhausen in the shortest possible time.

Architecturally, the 128 m long reinforced concrete structure with its silver-grey outer surface is guided by the TRACTO-TECHNIK design. Special features are the large arched window on the street side and the white cube of the upper floor, which is slightly offset to the outside. The round-arched window, whose upper arch corresponds to the course of the mountain opposite in the region known as "Rossnacken", provides sufficient daylight with an area of 200 m2. The upper floor with modern office and social rooms comprises a built-up area of 2,000 cubic metres, weighs 800 tonnes and is supported by a column-free construction. The electricity and heat supply to the logistics centre and assembly plant via an environmentally friendly block-type thermal power station also complies with the latest standards.

Digitisation as a key component
At TRACTO-TECHNIK the digitisation, automation and interconnection of all procedures and processes is not limited to logistics, but is the key component of a sustainable growth strategy. CEO Timotheus Hofmeister comments: "The innovative strength of our employees also plays an important role in digitisation. To promote the climate of innovation in a sustainable way, we have set up a special program called 'fit4future'. Under this program, all measures that make our company fit for the future are meaningfully bundled and pushed forward." Thanks to the creativity and inventiveness of our employees, this program has gained momentum over the past two years. For this reason, October 31 was chosen by the management not only as the day of the inauguration of the logistics centre, but also for an internal "fit4future event" for TRACTO-TECHNIK employees. During this internal event, which took place before the official inauguration, all digital projects and solutions developed so far were presented at sixteen different experience stations.

By merging the "fit4future Event" with the inauguration ceremony, the external guests also had the opportunity to see for themselves the future viability of TRACTO-TECHNIK at the experience stations. The visitors were impressed by the clever and innovative solutions, which were developed for the most different areas and exchanged intensively with the participants. This exchange continued even after the official inauguration, as the annual staff party of TRACTO-TECHNIK took place together with the guests directly after the event to celebrate the occasion.

Logistics centre is the nucleus of the new TRACTO-TECHNIK
During the official part of the inauguration of the logistics centre, which began with Wolfgang Schmidt's welcoming speech, the owner outlined the history of the company from its foundation by his father almost sixty years ago until today saying: "The world was different when my father founded TRACTO-TECHNIK". He then went into the various milestones in the continuous development of the company from a small craft business to a modern industrial enterprise and in this context emphasized the importance of digitization for efficient logistics: "The logistics centre is not just a simple storehouse, it is the nucleus of the new Tracto-Technik. The inauguration marks the beginning of a major new phase," said Wolfgang Schmidt, visibly satisfied.
 
The responsible architect Thomas Kotthoff then presented the building concept and thanked the client for the free space and the extraordinary trust in all phases of the project. Then Stefan Hundt, the mayor of the city of Lennestadt, made clear in his speech the importance of TRACTO-TECHNIK for Lennestadt and as an attractive employer: "These are exemplary investments, we need such innovative companies". At the end of the speeches, Tim Hofmeister, who, as CEO has been instrumental in setting the company on the road to digitisation, explained the fit4future concept and expressed his satisfaction with all achievements. He invited all guests to visit the experience stations to get their own impression of the innovative solutions that have been created in this way.
 
At the subsequent company party, the TRACTO staff and their guests enjoyed a varied programme and culinary delights together. The stage show of the "Physikanten" inspired with a unique mixture of entertainment and science. Afterwards the band "Sharks" got the vibe going with groovy dance music until late in the evening.
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