A pioneering project for energy change throughout Europe

Press release

- Topping-out ceremony of the CO2-free NExT Factory from Schaltbau GmbH in Velden
- Safety expert for direct current applications, with five times the production capacity
- New Energy/New Industry and e-Mobility markets are boosting growth

Velden, 1 April, 2022. Bavarian Prime Minister Dr. Markus Söder personally made sure that the last nail was in hammered place. Minister of Economy Hubert Aiwanger and District Administrator Peter Dreier were also present today when one of the most innovative production facilities in the Free State of Bavaria was decorated with the topping-out wreath in Velden, Lower Bavaria: With the NExT Factory, Schaltbau GmbH is building a state-of-the-art, fully automated and CO2-free factory on an area of 22,000 m². Production is scheduled to start in October 2022. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, the company is one of the leading international suppliers of safety-relevant electromechanical components such as contactors, plugs and switching systems – with a focus on DC technology for the railway industry and the New Energy/New Industry and e-Mobility markets. With a “contactor”, Schaltbau produces one of the most important fuse components for the use of direct current technology in a wide range of applications — from high-performance energy storage systems for renewable energy to DC microgrids in industrial production, and from energy supply in trains to battery-supported applications, e.g., in e-vehicles of all kinds.

NExT is setting new standards for the use of DC technology in industrial production

“With the NExT Factory, Schaltbau is delivering a pioneering pilot project and is therefore setting new standards in the use of renewable energy in conjunction with high-performance batteries and energy management via its own DC grid throughout Europe,” explained Dr. Jürgen Brandes, CEO of Schaltbau GmbH, in front of 400 guests. “This shows the entire innovative power of our company.”

Traditional companies in new markets on a dynamic growth path
Schaltbau GmbH is a Bavarian medium-sized company with a long history in the mobility industry – founded 90 years ago when the Deutsche Reichsbahn awarded the electrification of rail traffic as an innovation project to the Bayerische Staatsbahn. Since then, Schaltbau has been producing marketleading key components for safely switching between energy source and energy consumption. Currently, the technological boost in electromobility has dynamically increased the importance of shifting design developments with ever larger energy storage systems, because the highest demands are placed on the technical components here. “Quality, robustness and longevity characterise our components. We reliably secure both fast charging and very high currents with our solutions. In doing so, innovations in industry and greater reach in e-mobility can be safely implemented,” says Schaltbau CEO Jürgen Brandes. “This is where completely new sales markets have emerged for us.” Schaltbau GmbH is pursuing ambitious growth targets: In these new markets, the company intends to more than double sales in the next few years with double-digit growth rates. The new plant in Velden, which will have five times as high a capacity as the previous site in the final expansion stage, is intended to support this ambition.

Positive experiences with Velden as a business location
Early on, the planning of the NExT Factory was based on the location in Velden. The company has been present here since 1973, with a production site, and has had good experiences. “Velden is located in a regional cluster of the automotive industry. We have access to highly trained specialists who identify with our company to a great extent – this is an essential success factor for our company,” explains Dr. Brandes.

Innovative energy concept and state-of-the-art working environment
With the NExT Factory in Velden, Schaltbau has also set new standards in production, using its own product range. A large part of the electricity demand is covered by photovoltaics (1.4 MW), which is stored in buffer batteries. The factory has its own direct current network, which is optimally protected with switching components and enables very efficient energy distribution. Compared to conventional concepts with fossil fuels, energy costs are to be reduced by 35 percent. In addition, 3,400m3 of wood are used, in which 3,400 tonnes of CO2 are bound. At the same time, this reduces the use of building materials, some of which produce considerable CO2emissions. Dr. Michael Ettl, Project Manager of NExT Factory at Schaltbau: “We want to set standards that not only in meet ESG criteria, but also those in the area of New Work. The NExT Factory is a highly attractive work-ing environment for well-trained professionals.” According to Dr. Michael Ettl, the factory’s appeal should also extend beyond employees: “The CO2-free plant in Velden can also become a model solution for industrial customers with regard to electricity cost reduction, extensive self-sufficiency with its own energy supply and climate-neutral modernisation of production.”

About Schaltbau (www.schaltbau.de)

With an annual turnover of 153 million euros (2021) and around 1,000 employees at three German and 12 international locations, Schaltbau GmbH, based in Munich, is one of the world’s leading providers of safety-critical components such as contactors, plugs, plug connectors and switching systems, with a technological focus on DC technology. The switching components are used both in the railway industry, e.g., for signalling, protection and energy distribution, and increasingly for the protection and energy management of battery-based industrial applications in the fields of New Energy/New Industry and e-Mobility Automotives.

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Press release - A pioneering project for energy change throughout Europe