FLORENCE, KY — October 30, 2023 — With the 7,000 m² greenfield facility, Balluff is regionalizing its supply chain and is clearly committed to the Americas’ trading area with the 50 million euro ($53 million) investment. “We believe that business is local and regional – and so is production. That’s why the new site in Aguascalientes plays a key role in supplying our customers in the Americas region with locally produced products, high availability, and short delivery times,” says Frank Nonnenmann, managing director and head of supply chain at Balluff. Mexico is not new territory for Balluff – the sales location in Querétaro has been in operation for 21 years. Balluff also has Americas subsidiaries in Canada, the United States, Argentina, and Brazil.
Balluff organized the site construction in Aguascalientes as a fast-track project, from the business case to site selection to building construction. This means carrying out multiple phases in parallel. “The design phase of the new factory, the commissioning of the local construction company, and the contract negotiations, for example, ran in parallel,” explains Andreas Schönle, manager of strategic projects at Balluff who is responsible for the construction and ramp-up of the new facility. In the process, Balluff benefited from the good cooperation with the contractor and the local authorities. The project was approved internally a year ago, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place in January – and production is able to start after only eight months. The grand opening brings together customers, partners, and government representatives. A family day afterward gives employees and their families the opportunity to celebrate and get to know the site.
As a fourth-generation family business, Balluff plans ahead. “One of the guiding principles at Balluff is: we think and act today for tomorrow,” explains Nonnenmann. “Our strategies are always future-oriented – in terms of economic efficiency and the environment, technology and product quality, but above all in terms of the people in our company. In this way, we can offer our employees and our business partners and customers a long-term and sustainable perspective.” Anyone who starts at Balluff can make a career here. The company’s management is also local – Edgar Gonzalez, who has called Aguascalientes home for many years, leads the new operation site. Currently, Balluff has 70 employees in Aguascalientes, but that number will increase quickly. The plan is to have 100 people on the team by the end of the year – and 700 by 2027 at the latest. Balluff offers modern working environments, the latest production technology, and an energy-efficient technical infrastructure. The installation of a 500 kWp photovoltaic system on the roof of the production and logistics hall is underway. This will enable the site to cover about a third of its needs with its own electricity in the future. Balluff expects to save around 350 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Steady expansion and strong team spirit
Following the successful start of production, Balluff will gradually expand manufacturing in Aguascalientes: Additional assembly lines for sensor and network technology for the American market will follow. Gonzalez is looking forward to the new tasks and is confident of a smooth production start-up: “In the past months, we have already been able to experience how well the international cooperation between the various Balluff locations works and we have benefitted from the experience of our colleagues.” Teams of experts from Hungary, China, and Germany trained the employees in Mexico before the start of production. Gonzalez emphasizes, “Our colleagues have worked very hard for us. We clearly felt the special Balluff family spirit: everyone working together.”
Balluff is starting in Aguascalientes with a production area of 7,000 m² and the option to expand this if required. The space for this has already been reserved. For the sensor and automation specialist, the establishment of the Mexican production site is a milestone and just one of several major projects this year – Balluff is significantly optimizing its own production network this year. In addition to the Aguascalientes project, the company has significantly expanded its production sites in Veszprém, Hungary, and Chengdu, China. With the expansion of production capacities in three regions, Balluff is creating the conditions for more stable global supply chains, shortened delivery times, and advanced sustainability.
Posted: October 30, 2023
Source: Balluff, Inc.