A groundbreaking ceremony at Eurocopterâ€™s German site in DonauwÃ¶rth today marked the official start of construction work on the companyâ€™s new integrated development center, part of the Systemhaus project. This unique high-tech platform, due to be completed in 2012, positions the worldâ€™s leading helicopter manufacturer squarely for the future.
With the Systemhaus project, DonauwÃ¶rth will concentrate all the resources, skills and equipment required to develop, manufacture, certify and maintain helicopters in one location. Development activities that currently are located at Eurocopterâ€™s Ottobrunn site will be integrated into the new building complex, which will have a surface area of 30,000 square meters and is to be situated adjacent to the plantâ€™s existing assembly facilities. Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to concentrate activities that today are divided between different locations both in DonauwÃ¶rth and in Ottobrunn. Some 900 Eurocopter employees will move into this future-oriented innovative development center.
â€œThe Systemhaus project is an integral part of Eurocopterâ€™s Vision 2020 strategy and will form the basis for a promising helicopter technology site in Germany â€“ pooling all the necessary key competencies to develop, manufacture and maintain rotary-wing aircraft at one location and securing these capabilities for the future,â€ said Lutz Bertling, President & CEO of the Eurocopter Group. â€œThis undertaking not only brings together development and production activities, it also will accelerate processes by making it possible to create integrated teams. The new development center will help us to successfully develop and manufacture innovative helicopters more quickly, and it will make a substantial contribution towards maintaining Eurocopterâ€™s lead in the international rotary-wing marketplace.â€
In the future, this new integrated development center will host development activities, along with the System Support Center which is run in cooperation with the German Army. Research facilities, simulators and test benches will all be located on the ground floor, while office space on the floor above will follow a flexible office-concept â€“ allowing creativity and a communicative exchange. The communication-friendly building offers an ideal environment for linking competencies in development areas such as aerodynamics, rotor systems, airframe design and avionics, creating a pleasant working environment for everyone.
For Eurocopter, the prudent use of resources is not only important in the lifecycle of a newly-developed helicopter. From the outset, the Systemhaus project planning process emphasized environmentally-friendly and innovative construction. Therefore the building features geothermal heating and groundwater cooling, as well as â€œgreenâ€ roofs that can be walked on. There will also be several charging stations for electric vehicles.
Staff from the existing Ottobrunn site will relocate to DonauwÃ¶rth once construction work has been completed in late 2012. Approximately 780 Ottobrunn employees are affected by the transition.
â€œOur goal is to accommodate all staff and skills from Ottobrunn in DonauwÃ¶rth,â€ said Friedrich Hormel, Director of Human Resources and Senior Vice President of Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH. â€œWe currently are collaborating with the works council, especially to support the relocation and integration â€“ offering future-oriented working conditions at the DonauwÃ¶rth site, and introducing the option of mobile working.â€
Systemhaus is part of Eurocopterâ€™s SHAPE global transformation program, which will see the company invest more than 1.3 billion euros in research and development between 2010 and 2014. These investments will be directed to new helicopter programs, as well as the global expansion of support and service activities. At the same time, Eurocopter will invest an additional 1 billion euros in site modernization to strengthen its market position and extend the companyâ€™s international footprint.
â€œThe new Systemhaus integrated development center will make a major contribution to our competitiveness, and it marks an important footprint for Eurocopterâ€™s future in Germany,â€ Wolfgang Schoder, the CEO of Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH, said. â€œBy relocating activities from Ottobrunn to DonauwÃ¶rth, the company not only stands to reduce site costs, it also will be able to increase overall efficiency by optimizing processes and leveraging technical and commercial synergies.â€
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